When I was six or seven, my aunt and uncle gave me a sterling silver charm bracelet. Over the years, I added charms whenever I visited interesting places. My mother often bought me several charms at once, and had several custom made.
By the time I was an adult, the bracelet was so full of charms it was completely unwearable. A jeweler recommended I place the charms on a silver chain. She sold me the split rings, and gave me a tool, which made it easier to open the rings and attach the charms.
I wore the necklace a handful of times, then stashed it in a ceramic pot in a display cabinet. I recently discovered the necklace, and was surprised at how random charms added in my teens took on meaning later in life.
Some of the charms include:
- The original charm was a delicate horse, which continues to be one of my favorites.
- The charm of a longhorn is a very detailed with majestic horns. I placed is towards the back of the necklace because it lacked meaning. However, when I moved to Texas and saw longhorns, I was instantly captivated with these incredible animals, and subsequently quit eating beef. I also have a charm of an oil derelict, which may have been a prediction to Rich and me moving to Texas.
- I’ve always like rhinoceros so it’s no surprise I have a rhino charm.
- I’m not sure how I ended up with a charm of a six-point elk
- One of the first charms I received was a sailing vessel with multiple masts. It was created by a jeweler in Tarzana, California, and originally cast in gold. My mother asked to have it remade in silver.
- I have no idea how anchor and rope, starfish, swordfish, and boat wheel charms ended up on my bracelet. I don’t recall purchasing or receiving them. Unexpectedly, Rich introduced me to sailing, and I ended up getting bare-boat certified. One day, we look forward to owning a sailboat.
Places I Visited
- Tinkerbell from Disneyland
- Stagecoach from Knott’s Berry Farm
- Thunderbird with inset turquoise from Mammoth Lakes, California
- Dutch shoe from Solvang, California
- Flamingo from San Diego Zoo
- Buddha from San Francisco Chinatown
- Bear and cub from Yosemite, California
- Pineapple given to me by my grandparents who went Hawaii. My stepchildren grew up in Kauai, and Rich lived there for several years.
- Kokopelli from New Mexico
- Four charms that represent my parents’, brother’s and my astrological signs.
- Mortarboard with a pearl, given to me when I graduated from high school.
- Mortarboard inscribed with PSU (Portland State University) and the date I graduated.
- Round charm that represents when I graduated from either elementary or junior high school
- Dragon, which maybe represents future interest in Game of Thrones (kidding)
- Two fairy charms. There’s a third, which I never placed on the necklace, and carry in a cloth bag in my purse. She’s a parking fairy who ensures I can find a parking space even when the possibilities are remote.
- Bird cage with a bird inside. Maybe it meant I’d marry a man with several birds.
- Frog with a crown. Rich turned out to be a prince, but in mortal skin.
- Helicopter. I’ve been in a helicopter twice, both as birthday gifts from Rich.
- Skis. My mother’s lover after my father died (and the person she lived with prior to meeting my father) had a ski school and summer camp in Mammoth Lake, California
- Large filigree bell, three little bells, heart with a key charms
- Cinderella’s coach, woman who lived in a shoe, cuckoo clock, and merry-go-round charms
- Fisherman, and fishing gear charms to represent my brother who fished
- Two airplanes, one a jetliner, and another a prop plane
- Ballerina, bicycle, flip phone, and eagle kachina, which I definitely picked out!
- I can’t sing or play an instrument, but I guess to represent my cousins who are musicians, and my mother’s interest in playing the piano I have a piano, clef note, ornate series of notes, gramophone, and a man on a park bench playing a guitar (my mother thought it represented her lover holding a skis).