If you love it, that's a clue: How objects shape a story
I was in my early 30s when my aunt gave me my grandmother’s sewing trunk. I recognized it immediately. It used to sit between the treadle sewing machine and the west window upstairs in the Marty farmhouse. Now it seemed small—just two feet long and a foot tall on rusty little rollers. The heavy upholstery-fabric covering—faded gold and magenta flowers on a gray-blue background—was tattered, exposing tiny nails and pine wood.
The box was surprisingly light as I carried it from the farmhouse porch to my city house. I stowed it next to my bed and lifted the cover to survey the contents. Yes, scrapbooks. And a couple of beat-up photo albums. I put the cover back on and laid a book on top. It became a bedside table, a memento of my grandmother who died when I was 11.
I didn’t open it again for years.