Physical objects can powerfully connect us to memories. As an example I give you...a toaster. This is no ordinary Sunbeam Thinline Self Lowering toaster (also known as the "Touch n Toast"). It's the one from my grandparents' farmhouse kitchen, that went with them after they sold the farm and moved into the house in Traer, that they took with them when they moved to the condo in Cedar Rapids, that we brought to the casa in the Hollywood Hills after they had both passed, that now resides at my brother's house in Woodland Hills. And, by all accounts, still makes a damn fine piece of toast. Made even better by adding two pats of Land O' Lakes Salted butter.
It's a very special object to me, that isn't worth much in material terms -- I found one on eBay for $33.87 which is honestly more than I thought, and yet, why not $34? -- but it connects me to my past in a way that feels good to me. Objects and treasures like these helped me cope with losing Mom to Alzheimer's when she had the disease and later after it took her from us. They brought back the best memories of her then, and they keep her with me now.
The stories that surround objects are fun and even therapeutic to share. My friend Shannon Uschold gets this and created https://www.generationstory.com, an app that lets you share the stories of the toasters in your life.
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