Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Dustpan!

Remember this,-- that there is a proper
dignity and proportion to be observed
in the performance of every act of life.

             Marcus Aurelius

 The first time I noticed this dustpan was thirty-two years ago this month. It was sitting in an old, deserted farmhouse in the corner. It was leaning against a yellow painted board wall, with the torn blue linoleum floor beneath it.
  This young couple were walking hand in hand, touring this very cold house on a brisk fall afternoon. The young woman noticed this lonely old metal dustpan while they explored the place, not knowing how much this dustpan would see, nor how much a part of her history it would become.
 Today I sweep up the ashes from the woodstove in the basement; I am taken back to another time, where the tears of joy, and tears of heartache seemed to be constantly falling. A time where many lessons were learned. A Journey that would still continue to this day. This old dustpan has seen it all.
 It has sat on the frozen floor of that same kitchen, this young woman prayed to get away from. It has been there picking up the flour on this dirty floor when a tiny girl decided to build sand castles, this same young Mother laughing, and finally realizing why she was there.
 Yes this dustpan sits beside my woodstove today, reminding me of times gone by, and lessons learned. It reminds me how someone can conquer anything if they really want to, and are willing to work hard for it. It reminds me of just how wonderful this life really is.
 Someday I should pass this old dustpan down to M so she will remember how Her Journey began. Oh the stories it could tell.



  1. I was just thinking, "oh the stories it could tell", when I read your last line! :)

  2. Yes! A definate treasure to pass on with all of it's history included.

  3. The old things seem to sometimes last forever. If walls could only talk too!
    I have my 50 year old earrings on today, I bet they could tell a tale or two :) They have seen me through my life thus far.
    Best wishes my friend..M

  4. I feel like crying for some reason- over a dustpan!!!!
    Yeas...I do believe you and I should one day sit down over a hot drink- or 2. And you're right- nopassport needed! Hey..I want to bike across Canada one day- maybe I won't even have to fly!!!
    Thank you for sharing the dustpan...

  5. Buttons you have a wonderful way with words. Your posts always make me think. Thanks for sharing. :)

  6. i love that you discovered it there, continued to use it all these years. yes, it should stay in your family. it could be hung on ms. m's wall one day. :)

  7. please, please, please...write a book. thanks!!

  8. A lovely story about a dustpan. I'm a new follower.

  9. I'm amazed that you have kept it so long. In our throw-away society it's almost a miracle. :)

  10. Funny how things like that can become so much a part of our lives that we don't even notice them any more. I hope you are able to share the story of the dustpan with your children so they will appreciate and keep the story going.

    Thought of you as I was learning to enjoy snowshoes. My only regret is the miles between us.

  11. You are the best writer. Wish I had a metal dustpan. Mine is just cheap wal-mart plastic and is broken.

  12. Beautiful story B...It is the simpliest things that give us great joy!

  13. How poetic! I really loved reading this! You have the mind of a philosopher.

  14. ....seriously? We are dustpan kindred. That same exact dustpan, green chipped paint and all, was in the old chicken coop at the place back in St. Croix Falls WI...we used it in the fireplace we built, and it moved with us to Montana - where we use it even today. this must be some sort of dustpan spell - we can never toss it because it was from the chicken coop of long ago so we kept it...buttons, you and I have to meet someday!


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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