I've been gone from the blog world for a while. A lot has been going on in my life... All of which I will probably divulge later (sorry). ;)

Nothing bad... just taking a break from the virtual world so that I can take care of myself better.

Sooo... I wanted to get back in the habit of blogging. Mainly because writing helps me - and I haven't touched my journal in months... no, make that years...

Part of my "virtual world" includes a group called Etsy Metal - A group I've belonged to for over 3 years and one I care intensely for. I can honestly say I count many of the people in this group as close friends even though I've only met a few in "real" life.

And I digress...

Etsy Metal does a thing called Blog Carnival - it's a once a month deal with a different topic each month. Anyone on the Etsy Metal team can blog about the topic... I thought it would be a somewhat painless way to kick start my blog writing.

This months theme, "My favorite object" was tougher than I thought.

My first thought was of the baptismal cross my dad made for me in preparation for my birth. It has always been a prized possession and something I was heartsick over losing for the past 5 years - I found it right after my dad died.

I then thought of my engagement ring. My wonderful husband put it on a credit card even though I told him not to. We were both full time students at the time with no real income... and I was trying to be practical. He, impetuous as always (and one of the many reasons I love him) surprised me with the "official" engagement ring one day.

We often joke that the engagement ring confirmed a lifetime of love. and debt...

I thought of my first wedding rings that my dad made...

I thought of the white candy dish that my grandfather (Papa) always kept candy corn in.

I thought of my box of journals - books documenting my life (according to Rebekah) from the time I was 8.
I thought of pictures.
The boy's baby books...

All of these things symbolize something different to me and I would be heartsick if I lost any of them. Too hard to choose one!

Then I thought, 'it probably shouldn't be jewelry or something I would wear'...

"what would I grab if there was a fire?" Well, with 3 kids, 2 dogs and a cat... I realized I would grab nothing but them. So that process of elimination didn't work.

I decided to put dishes away while getting the kids ready for school this morning - I took something small and white out of the dishwasher and stared at it for a moment. I sighed, thought, "of course..." and lovingly put my most prized possession away in the coffee cup cupboard...

This small white coffee cup - the perfect size and weight - was my dads.

He left it at my house over 10 years ago - on a trip to visit my sister and I in New Mexico... My dad never used a travel mug. He used a regular, old coffee cup (his favorite one) even on the 28 hour drive from Michigan to New Mexico.

and then he left it at my house.
Knowing it was his favorite coffee cup in the world, I tried for years to get it back to him. He used it every time he would come to my house, I would wash it out for him to take home and he just kept forgetting it.

Pretty soon it became a joke.

Kind of like my brother Daniel always forgetting his toothbrush.

Then he said, "why don't I just leave it at your house, so I'll always have my coffee cup when I come to visit".

I've since lovingly packed and moved my dad's coffee cup to 5 different states, 3 different apartments, and 5 different houses... Every time he came to my house, it was there waiting for him.

My dad always smelled of sheeps wool, rich earth, a brisk Michigan breeze and coffee.

This coffee cup had become a symbol of our connection even before his death... It was a promise. He would always come back for a conversation and a cup of coffee.

When he died, I cried every time I saw the cup.

I developed an obsessive fear that something would happen to HIS cup.

I couldn't comprehend that he would NOT be back for one of our long rambling conversations and a cup of coffee.

I've since developed an easier, gentler relationship with the cup - now I use it regularly and think of my dad - and the long, rambling conversations (full of very Irish asides and digressions) and full pots of coffee we would have.

I know that in a house full of boys and pets, the cup may likely break one day - but I no longer have an obsessive fear over the thought - I know that those long conversations over the coffee pot and amid the chaos of my house (where we always solved the worlds problems) will never be lost.

My dad's cup (my favorite object):

Picture taken in front of one of my dad's drawings.

To read more etsy metal blogs on the topic please visit my friends blogs:

victoria takahashi http://vtakahashi.blogspot.com/

Danielle Miller-Gilliam http://daniellemillerjewelry.blogspot.com/

stacey hansen http://wildflowerdesigns.blogspot.com/

Sara Westermark http://sarawestermark.blogspot.com/

Beth Cyr http://bcyrjewelry.blogspot.com/

Ashley Akers http://ashleyakers.blogspot.com/