Lucy and Harry had some lovely everyday things. It’s not that they were super rich. They weren’t. But over forty years or so they had collected some lovely household things.
The dinner set was getting on to be thirty-five years old. They had selected it together over a period of five days, um-ing and ah-ing over dinnerware patterns. In the end, the pattern they selected was perfect; not too ornate or extravagant but just right. They had several lovely sets of crystal glasses. Of course, one or two of each set had broken over the years, but the remaining ones still sparkled. Then there was Harry’s collection of beer mugs. There were over eighty mugs. Through the years Harry’s beer mug collection had been a lifesaver when wondering what to get him for Christmas, what to get him for his birthday. Then there were ornaments on shelves around the house. Some books and trinkets, even some wooden carvings they had picked up while on a trip to Fiji.
So many things in the house! So many memories!
And then Harry died.
Life wasn’t so easy for Lucy after that. She had to watch the pennies. In fact, to make ends meet she pawned the occasional household item. The dinner set for example fetched enough to take care of a few weeks’ rent. Harry’s collection of beer mugs fetched a handsome price. All in all, such things helped Lucy to survive until the financial complications that set in after Harry’s death were sorted out. At last things were back on an even keel.
How Lucy wished she hadn’t parted with such items of memory. Yet still, they had been her survival.
With a little more spending flexibility, Lucy began to purchase a few replacements over time. She bought new dinnerware. Oh the freedom of it! She didn’t have to compromise! She could buy the pattern she most liked. Here and there she could purchase the occasional little treat – a new picture in the dining room, for example, of a plump monk wine-tasting next to a winery vat. It was ideal, but she couldn’t help but think that Harry would not have liked it: too religious he would have said. Lucy loved it.
So it was that Lucy still missed Harry, but she had discovered a new sense of freedom. A new sense of choice! A new independence!
And then she met Archibald. How things can change in a week.