When I think of love, I think of my garbage can and my dish drainer. Seriously. Eighteen years ago this summer, DH and I married in a beautiful garden ceremony.
Immediately afterward, we set up house and put our gifts to good use. Over the years, we’ve had to replace rugs as fashions changed, toasters as they wore out and furniture to accomodate our growning family.
Yet two things (besides our seven crystal bowls) remain the same. Our blue garbage can and our blue dish drainer. DH claims that when these things need replaced it will be the end of our marriage.
I hope he’s wrong, but there’s a small part of me that believes in some way, these two items are the cement that holds our family together.
Consider this. Crystal bowls are nice for…okay, when you know, let me know. I’ve resorted to filling them with potato chips at birthday parties. But my point is, they are not used often, nor are they necessary. Any old bowl can hold a bag of Doritos.
But a garbage can? Now that gets a workout every day. We sweep the debris from our tables, our floors and our lives and cram it into the garbage can. It’s a place to dump everything we don’t want. It’s the perfect metaphor for getting rid of the baggage so we have room to hold onto the things we care about.
Then there’s the dish drainer. Ugly and blue, yet utilitarian. It, too, gets a daily workout. Every day, we eat. And every day, there are dishes to wash. It’s a reminder of our family meals and the value of sharing our days’ experiences with the ones we love.
You can take my fickle rugs and tired toasters. I’ll even lend you my crystal bowls. But never will I part with my garbage can or my dish drainer. They are far more than they seem and the two most important things in my life.
Without them, my marriage would be nothing but show–fancied up side dishes in a pretty bowl. With them, I can withstand the hard work and the frustration that go along with sharing my life with another. I can see past the difficulties and appreciate the nourishment at the end of each day.
Do you have similar items in your life that symbolize the commitments you’ve made? If so, we’d love to hear about them. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the highest value is often placed on the least expected.