I love things with a history, especially the things that I’ve picked up along the way:

– vintage 1950’s Pyrex in bowls in red, blue, yellow, and green
– a gold and peridot cocktail ring from a tiny shop in South Africa
– a silver brooch and screw-back earrings with vintage pearls also found in South Africa
– a vintage crystal cake stand with dome lid
– a 1st edition copy of Sylvia Plath’s “Ariel” poems picked up in DC in a cluttered used bookshop

My favorite acquisition, though, has to be a heather grey cashmere cardigan.

When I was young, my father had a heather grey cardigan that was most certainly polyester and more than a little itchy. He used to wear it to work, but when it became too worn for professional life, it spent it’s retirement as his “painting” cardigan. No one really knows what happened to that cardigan except that it bit the dust at some point when it developed a smattering of oil paint and holes in the elbow. Somewhere between the old sweater and his death, my father started wearing a new heather grey cardigan made of cashmere – certainly better looking and doubly soft.

After he died, I found the new cardigan hanging on the back of the door of his office at the hospital. It was hidden under lab coats embroidered in red script. While no one was looking, I slid the sweater off of its hanger and into my much-too-large purse. Every fall, just about now, I pull it out from my closet and slide my arms into the sleeves when the chill in the air becomes too much for bare skin. Putting it on isn’t as good as the real thing, but it’s almost as good as a hug.


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