This Little Piggy

August 30, 2010

Cute, isn’t she? Penelope the Flying Pig hangs from a shelf on my desk. She’s a symbol—representing whimsy and creativity to me. I don’t go so far as to call her my muse, but she watches over me while I work at my desk, and makes me smile every time I see her curly, pink tail.

We also have a flying pig in our foyer:

My husband purchased this one on a family trip just after we sold our business. This little piggy represents freedom. After years of working long hours in our insurance business, he finally felt free from stress, free from having to be somewhere all dressed up at eight (or earlier) in the morning, free from problems with clients or staff.

We only have two flying pigs in our home, but we have no fewer than five variations of bicycle objets d’art (including a bicycling pig). I don’t know what the bicycles stand for yet. My husband is an avid cyclist, but we started picking up the bicycles before he started riding regularly. Perhaps they also represent freedom—the ability to ride away if things get tough? Or maybe they symbolize the excitement of exploring or going on adventures? (Clearly I have too much time on my hands if I’m assigning hidden meaning to articles of household decoration. Maybe they’re just bikes.)

Is it just me, or do you have any objects in your life that are more than just decoration? Objects that speak to your heart and soul for some perhaps unaccountable reason? Maybe it’s a trinket brought back from a family vacation, or an item picked up at a flea market because it called your name.

When I see the pigs, I think of vacations (I bought Penelope while on vacation, also), freedom, playfulness, joy. My heart lifts, even if it’s just for a moment. I think we need these unexpected hits of happiness in our daily lives—little jolts from a special item or a photo of a happy occasion placed where we see it often during the day.

If you have any items that serve as symbols for you, what are they, what do they mean to you and where do you keep them?

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  1. Oh, adorable! Fun post. Love the tail.

    We have a stupid object in the house, a Halloween motion-activiated spooky noise maker, that we hide. If someone finds it, they must re-hide it until it is found again. Sometimes it is found within days, sometimes months. You'll know you've found it when the spooky noise starts.


    FYI: Sorry I’ve been out of touch recently. Among other things, I recently switched blogging platforms. All previous links to my blog have been broken as I am no longer with Typepad. My domain name is still but my blog has now been moved to

    I hope you’ll stop by and re-bookmark the new blog if you wish!

  2. Welcome back, Krista! I'll be sure to stop by the new blog address and update my link.

    Your spooky noise maker sounds like a lot of fun--my family would love something like that, too. Does it ever freak out a guest??

  3. Kathy, I love your flying pigs. A cute monument to possibility. :) I did not realize that you and your husband had already grown a business to maturity and then sold it. What an amazing thing that must have been to witness! Altho, of course, I can understand your desire to move on and feel free again.

    Talismans in my home: Right now several surfaces in the house are holding drying seedpods. I like to keep seeds on display (although that is not best for preserving freshness and good germination rates -- these are living beings, after all -- so I only do so for a few.)

    I have a rock brought back from a wilderness hike by a friend, some shells gathered at sunrise on a beach, and usually at least one item picked up, magpie-like, on my latest trek through the woods. (Today it's a green-lichen-encrusted twig.)

    There's also the abstract pen-&-ink drawing my sister did for me years ago, framed, called "The Black Sheep" in my honor (I'm so weird, & it's been obvious in my family), that hangs above my desk. And lots of art in general, of course, by artist friends who make pottery & paintings and found-art sculpture. :)

  4. Meredith--Having your own business is a mixed blessing--it's challenging, stressful, exciting and can make you more money than working for corporate America...but it comes at a price. We felt very fortunate to be able to sell.

    Seed pods are very appropriate for you and your enchanted garden! Your magpie tendencies sound familiar, too--I have a branch with some pine cones on it on my dresser, rocks and acorns in a container on my desk, etc. It's fun to have a little souvenir from a happy experience. Your home sounds like it would be an interesting and revealing place to visit!