Even in a pared-down live-small lifestyle I think that people have at least one item that serves no practical purpose but, instead, is a talisman. It could be a reminder of a person or place, or a reminder to dream of the future (a simple postcard of a beach you have visited or want to visit). I am guilty of having many such objects, but one collection is both fanciful and concrete. Technically it’s my husband’s, begun with a simple set of metal bookends, etched with the shape of a building, inherited from his mother. From there the metal building collection started. In my mind, one object is solitary and is endowed with meaning. Two play off each other. Three is a collection. With nearly 300 metal buildings, my husband’s qualifies. It started a little tongue in cheek, then was added to in remote locations, some were given as gifts, some purchased in antique stores. We started to compare the variety of metals and craftsmanship. Next thing we were connoisseurs. It’s a diverse collection. Some are simply buildings. Others are jewelry boxes topped by a building, a few are desk sets with calendars. My favorite happens to be a salt and pepper combo. Much rarer are the coin banks. We have been fortunate to travel extensively and when I glance at the collection I am reminded of places we’ve visited. More than that, I dream of places I have yet to go. Do you have a talisman (or collection) that serves as an aide-memoire? For me these memory aides are also reminders of a bright future.