My friend Ann sent me a wonderful painting that she made last year from memory of one of her childhood animals. Her painting reminded me of the blurred memories I have of favorite things from early childhood. My family was not a family of savers. My mother was constantly clearing out things we no longer needed, with the result that when she died her worldly possessions, other than a few pieces of furniture, fit into two grocery bags. So I had nothing left over from my childhood except a few photographs, but they had some clues.
P's mother was like mine in her non-holding on to things, so he, too, had only a couple of vague memories and a picture of himself holding the blue/tan bunny at upper left. This was his bunny that his grandmother made for him, and he remembers the button eyes.
I can still feel exactly how it felt to slide the wooden slatted door that wrapped around the little box in drawing 1440. My great-aunt Della gave it to me when I was around 8. It was exotic and splendid and perfect for storing gumball machine charms, which I collected. My prize charm was a tiny deck of cards. If you put a penny in the machine, it usually plopped a gumball into your hand; but occasionally it would spit out a charm instead of a gumball, and that was a red-letter day. (Later, there were fake gumball machines that cost a nickle and gave you a charm for your nickle every time. That seemed so out of the spirit of the gumball magic that I didn't consider those real charms.)
I kept the tiny pearl-handled knife, which I had found in the gutter on a truly lucky day, in the box, and also the king cake baby that I had gotten by luck in my piece of king cake one week during Mardi Gras season.
On the right hand page is my lambie, which showed up in two pictures of me from around two years old. One picture says "Christmas" on the back, and the lambie's bow is crisp and new-looking, so it was maybe a xmas gift. I vaguely remember the curly fur and the black tips on the ears, In the second lambie picture I'm wearing bunny slippers, and those I also remember for their softness and silence when I walked in them.