Retiring a Personal Relic

When I was working for my first startup right around the turn of the century (he said, hanging an onion on his belt, which was the style at the time), I was also doing the garage sale and estate sale thing on the weekends and posting the gleanings on Ebay on weeknights, and I guess that’s how I came up with this glass candy jar which I brought into the office and put a TIPS sign on.

I brought it with me to, what, two office jobs after that? Maybe only the one, as the second started as work from home, and it’s possible I did not bring it into the office downtown. But that itself was 20 years ago, and I can only remember certain elements of the cubicle there, where the major design elements were old Purina swag that my sainted aunt had accrued from her time with the company before I worked for a digital agency serving the Nestle Purina PetCare company twenty years later.

Since then, it has been in one of the cubbies of my desk in my home office. It looks as though I must have spilled some coffee on it at one time as the TIPS paper is stained.

For a long time, I would empty change from my pocket into the jar. This probably happened more in the Old Trees days, where I would walk around with a baby in a stroller and maybe buy a coffee or a pastry with a bit of cash. Then, when we moved to Nogglestead, the walking around ceased, and the dropping carrying money pretty much ended. For the last decade or so, any change I’ve accrued over the day has gone into the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League mite box in the kitchen, between the garage door and emptying my pockets, and not to the basement.

So this last weekend, I emptied the jar of its remaining change, keeping the single fifty cent piece and the single president dollar coin for myself. I spent some of the coins as “votes” in a chili cook-off on Sunday and put the rest in the church’s big mite box on Sunday.

And now… Well, I guess I will take off the paper and put the candy jar in the garage with the other glass and whatnot that I fully mean to etch or paint with stained glass paint one of these days, where it will likely languish for a decade until my estate sale or until I actually grind a little evergreen tree onto it and fill it with candle wax before putting it into a craft sale where someone knowledgeable about glass will discover it and recognize that it was an expensive piece of glassware that I marred.

I mean, the thing has spent half of antiquehood with old pennies and dimes with it on my various desks already. But its time has passed. Or, perhaps, this will be in a Five Things On My Desk, Shamefully post in 2026. Life is full of possibilities in different stagnations.

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