Sunday, 4 August 2013

Storytelling Sunday Three: Pick Your Precious

Storytelling Sunday Three? There is no excuse for not joining in with this one! Everyone can do it. Pick Your Precious is about celebrating the little things you love: those souvenirs, bits and pieces, things from your past you can't bear to throw out. You know, the special little something you have tucked away in a drawer or up on a shelf? Or the thing you love most in a room? Or the object you would save if you knew you had to leave the country? Your favourite things.


Ready to begin?

The Cardboard Sign

Today we are celebrating! Precious? That would be our Silver Wedding Anniversary. Twenty five years? We have been married for more of our loves than ever we were single. Two children, three houses, quite a lot more stuff than we started out with...





...and something which says August instantly, every time I catch a glimpse of it peeping out from underneath a stack of keep-it-flat magazines. It's a simple piece of cardboard. Look closely and you'll see it's the inner packaging from a shirt: the bit you are left with after you peel off the cellophane and take out the pins. Just married it says. And on that August day, as we waved our wedding guests good bye, we discovered it tied to the back of our car. Is that a tradition in your part of the world? It is here. Most honeymooners find their car a riot of toilet paper, balloons, signs and shaving foam. We drove off, tin cans tied to the exhaust, rattling our way towards a dinner of Pot Noodle in our new little house, before our trip to England. We untied the sign as soon as we could, of course, and we set it on the shelf and I've been carrying it from house to house ever since.

It was made by our friend Tony and I'm thinking that he got up that morning and put on a new shirt, all the better to perform his duties as our Bets Man. maybe he peeled off that cellophane and picked out the pins and wondered what the day would bring. 

You do a lot of that, getting ready for a wedding. Unpacking, unwrapping, unpicking. All those gifts: carefully chosen and cushioned in tissue paper, set out on display, used until they fall apart. Clothes, for the big day and beyond: bits of froth in fancy bags mixing with favourites brought out of a suitcase carried from one home to another. Lots of layers, lots of packaging you need to lose before it all means anything. 

i remember the flowers arriving that morning, lifting them out of their cardboard box and wondering how they could possibly be for me. I remember stepping into the vestry to sign the register and the man who had just married us threw his arms round me, my new Father in Law, and everyone laughed because he didn't usually hug all the brides and I thought how lucky I was. And I remember the confetti tumbling to the floor, out of my own new clothes later on in the day. More unwrapping.

You won't be surprised to hear, because you know me well enough by now, that I brushed up that confetti and saved it, picked out the dust and stuck it in our wedding album. I have all the cards we were sent, too, and we're still using the gifts, beautiful things we were given and I'm still holding onto a piece of old cardboard. I think I know why. I think it's because we're twenty five years down that road of peeling back the layers, deciding what we want to keep, and if what we keep is the basic, every day stuff for most of the time, then so be it. Sometimes you don't get to Pick what's Precious.

And, with that in mind, I'll put my piece of cardboard back on the shelf. We have a small party to go to I talked to Little E on the phone about it. He said Auntie Sian, we got cake - chocolate!- and heart shaped balloo- and then there was the sound of a hand being clamped firmly over the mouth of a small boy and the line went dead..

Have a great Sunday, whatever you are up to, but don't forget to Pick Your Precious. I'm ready and waiting. 


Write your post, introduce it as a Storytelling Sunday story and then come back and link us up. You won't regret it! Everyone meets someone new on Storytelling day You have a full week to add your story, and the rest of the month to come back and read your choice of the others. No big rush! Have a think, take your time. And then? Sit back and enjoy the rest.

45 comments:

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Fantastic story, Sian, and a very happy anniversary to you two! What a lovely way to commemorate your special day, with a story like this. :o)

I had forgotten about decorating a car for a newly married couple. I know that people used to do it all the time in the US, but come to think of it, I haven't seen that done in ages.

Amy said...

Congratulations to your both - 25 years, how wonderful!

Enjoy your party, I am sure Little E hasn't given away all of the surprises!

Cars are decorated occasionally down here, not all that often and rarely these days.

Alison said...

Happy Anniversary to you both...hope you enjoyed the party!
Alison xx

Maria Ontiveros said...

Happy Anniversary!!!
I love your story today. I still have the glass cake topper from our wedding cake. You'll see my story is about a courting gift that I've kept safe for over 32 years!
Rinda

Jennie said...

Congratulations to you both! Yes cars do still get decorated here and whenever I see one they always make me smile. No decorated car for us though - we set off on our honeymoon by train. But I did pick up my confetti - and pressed a few of my flowers. Thank for a lovely story, and enjoy the party , I'm sure Little E didn't give too much away! J x

Irene said...

How wonderful. 25 years together. Many congratulations to you both. Your story contains the very best of SS traditions; all those layers wrapped up with love. Your cardboard sign is indeed very precious.
Hope the chocolate cake, the balloons and ... provided the best party ever.

Sheena said...

Many congratulations to you both xxx
What a wonderful precious to still have.
Enjoy the party :)

Jane said...

happy anniversary, have a lovely time with your family and friends xx

Karen said...

Oh Sian, you have made me giggle at Little E and have brought tears to my eyes with your beautiful story. Hope your party was splendid and that you feigned surprise at the chocolate cake and balloons . A very happy anniversary to you both x

Becky said...

Congratulations to you both! I too have a lot of bits and pieces from our wedding day (as you can probably imagine!) including all the cards we were sent, but I don't have anything that was attached to the car! Love that Little E nearly let the cat out of the bag - did make me laugh :)

Missus Wookie said...

I hope your day is full of love and laughter and chocolate cake :) Nope not surprised to hear you have all the cards and bits - fun to see the sign too :)

Kirsty.A said...

Congratulations. Enjoy the party

alexa said...

Many congratulations, Sian, to you both, and I have much enjoyed your memories and reflections of the day. I, truthfully, passed on collecting the shaving foam all over the back window of the little borrowed mini! You were clearly a 'documentarian' already :). Oh, and hope that cake is delicious. If Little E had anything to do with it, I am sure it was full of love.

Jo.C said...

That is a great keepsake - you have reminded me of something I could use for next year - will I remember?
Our house windows were completely covered in shaving foam and I remember being very tired and gutted when we got back from honeymoon. Glad they didn't find the keys OH had stashed safely :0)

Julie Kirk said...

Happy, happy, anniversary to you both. I hope you enjoy the cake and and wondering if one of those 'heart shaped balloo...'s will find itself being squirrelled away as another keepsake. x

Ruth said...

What a wonderful milestone for you and TA and how equally as wonderful that you still have the sign. I do hope that Little E has a great party .... along with you and TA! x

dogmatix said...

Happy Anniversary. Have a great day x

JO SOWERBY said...

Aw happy 25th you guys such an achievement. My parents will have been married 50 years next March and we're trying to pin them down to what they want. Actually I should say try to get them agree. Both want something different. Oh joy. When it was their 40th we found lots of lovely bits and pieces from their wedding day to share. Have a wonderful secret party and look forward to seeing the pictures and hearing some of the stories,
Jo xxx

Sinead said...

This is such a lovely story Sian, and congratulations on your 25th wedding anniversary! What a lovely souvenir to have kept that brings back so many happy memories. Thanks for sharing xxx

Sinead said...

Ahhh I'm so sorry Sian, I added my story but it linked to the wrong post! And now I can't delete the wrong link. Number 21 (A Love of Books) is the correct link to my story, number 20 needs to be deleted! If you can do that I'd appreciate it! Thanks a million x

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Many congratulations on 25 happy years. I love the typo at the beginning of your story 'loves' instead of 'lives'. Well I'm assuming it was! I'm chilling out after last night's 'sleep' over with a coffee and a few stories. Will add my own later.

Carmen said...

I've literally got tears in my eyes - I was alright till I read the bit about little E and then there they were :) Love your stories Sian :)

Carmen said...

p.s HAPPY ANNIVERSARY x

Mel said...

I love this Sian - it seems so ahead of its time with all the photo booth pictures at wedding now! I like the make-shift nature of it and the sentiment!

Susan said...

Happy Anniversary! Have a great time at the party. :-)

Jo said...

That's a beautiful story and a wonderful precious. Happy anniversary, I hope you have a very special day x

Miriam said...

Congratulations to you both from me too, over here in the rain. I hope you have a wonderful day. I have lots of bits kept from our day, 29 years next month and we had our car decorated too. Precious memories indeed Sian. Thank you so much for the chance to tell and read them all every month.

Melissa said...

How wonderful that you've kept that piece of cardboard & it has traveled with y'all through 25 years - CONGRATULATIONS!

Cars are decorated here, too, although Robbie and I flew off to get married without family or friends around ... so no decorated car for us.

Karen said...

Happy Anniversary!!! And another wonderfully told story. My memory for past events is not often very good, but I do remember many details from the day of our wedding (and the day before). I should get them written down before they disappear!

Jennie Hart said...

What a beautiful story and a lovely precious to have as well.

I hope Little E's party goes well ;)

scrappyjacky said...

Happy Anniversary to you both....and hope the cake was delicious.

Lisa-Jane said...

I love that! Not just a piece of paper but a piece of packaging from an important item. I'm glad you kept it. Happy anniversary x

S said...

Congrats! Yes, every precious thing reflects a precious moment. Who knew cardboard could reflect such lasting love!

Cheri said...

Happy Anniversary! So glad to know your 25th is being celebrated with a little more fanfare than ours was. And I hope Little E has already been forgiven for spilling the beans... can't wait to hear the rest of that story!

Linda said...

Happy Anniversary Sian! Congratulations on 25 years:) Hope the party was good!!

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Happy Anniversary! Wonderful keepsake and a wonderful story!

Lizzie said...

Happy Anniversary to You, Sian and to The Accountant!
That cardboard sign is certainly a special and precious thing... It's not always the thing itself, but what it really represents.
I also kept the confetti and wedding cards - they're in the album with our wedding photos. Sometimes I look through it and see them all... including the note from my FIL, who is no longer with us... You're right, some things can't be thrown away.

Haven't written my story yet... still on holiday. I hope I'll get it done this time though.

Sandie said...

Congratulations Sian, I love your story and the memories you shared Especially about the cardboard sign. Some things have no financial value but are indeed priceless and precious.
Funny enough, our car was outside the reception hall and no one did decorate it. I was a bit disappointed truth be told!

Louise said...

Happy Anniversary..may be next 25 years be as good as the last x Great post x

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

What a lovely post this is...so reflective of what's come before and as well as what the future might hold. This "what's your precious" theme is perfect for you, with your penchant for saving things--it makes every first Sunday worth waiting for.

Barbara Eads said...

I only wish I had been more sentimental in my younger days. Never in a million years did I think I would cherish such seemingly useless things as a piece of cardboard! But here, 42 years married, I wish I had! You were so smart!!

Chipper Newman said...

I made it eventually, it has been a hectic week! Congratulations on your anniversary! It always amazes me how it is the simple things that often mean so much to us. The thoughtfulness of the best man helping to deck out the car with his hand lettered sign are all part of the memories of your special day. I would have kept it too :) I'll probably get around to reading all of the stories tomorrow but I didn't want to miss out. I had the photos loaded to the post a month ago but nothing written until now. I hope you had a fabulous party.

Sabrina S. said...

Hi SIan,
Happy Anniversary! Great story! I particularly liked your attention to details. I'm trying to improve on that. Congrats on making your marriage work for so long. May the road be even longer than 25 more years!
Thanks for your comment on my blog.
xoxo from Bordeaux

Jimjams said...

A wonderful story ... so sweet that you kept the sign. I wasn't that sentimental when I was young and we've moved so many times it would have been lost long ago even if I'd kept it on a whim! Congratulations on your Silver Wedding :-)

Gail said...

Sorry I'm so late Sian. A very belated Happy Anniversary! I hope you had a super day. What a lovely story that was to read and yes they still decorate up cars over here (we were smart and hid ours because sometimes they can be really bad, :) ).

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