Minimalists tend to surround ourselves only with those things that have meaning for us.
Let’s start with trains. Dave started checking out train tracks as a kid riding his bicycle. Early in our marriage he built model tracks on plywood that laid on the floor around our dining room table. When our daughter went off to college we started building a model railroad in her former bedroom. For many years I was one of the few females involved in the model railroad hobby both locally and nationally. So, of course, we needed to display something that related to this aspect of our lives. We chose two things. One is a set of black and white photos of tracks Dave took while in enrolled in a college photography class. The other is a HUGE blueprint of the tracks in Minneapolis and Saint Paul as they looked the year after we graduated from high school.
How about other hobbies? There’s no way we could pick just a few photos from all our years of travel both at home and abroad. We did spend several years living in a motorhome traveling around the USA. And one of my hobbies for years was building things from Lego blocks. So when Lego came out with a model of a Class A motorhome, I built that. And it sits on one of our end tables. Visiting children sometimes take it apart to play with the blocks while they are here but I always build it again after they leave.
Family? Again we picked a couple of things. One is a painting done my my mother in all browns. I know that sounds odd but it works and since burnt sienna has been my favorite color since elementary school the brown painting appeals to me. The other is a vase given to us as a thank you gift one time when we were able to be there for family when they had an emergency. It sits on our table and sometimes actually holds flowers.
And there’s a picture of our wedding sitting on my bedside table to remind me I was once skinny so I can become skinny again. OK, maybe not as skinny as I was then but certainly a lot more than I am now.
These few things reflect aspects of our lives we like to share with visitors. Our train friends have spent a lot of time standing in front of that blueprint and sharing memories of trains. And a few visitors have commented on the brown painting. And some have been prompted by the motorhome to ask about our travels. Or asked if the tracks in those photos were taken someplace familiar to them because they think the recognize that spot.
These things all help us share ourselves with others.