Joe Harwell's Ring

As I browsed my Twitter feed this morning, I came across a promotional post via Southern Authors (@SoAuthors3introducing Joe Harwell, a Tulsa-based author who writes historical fiction novels. A pinned post at the top of Joe's Twitter page (@HarwellJoe) caught my eye—a keepsake story about a ring and an Easter memory.

Joe Harwell shares a story about a ring and an Easter memory. "Funny how things fade from memory and can be brought back by the simplest things."

Joe Harwell shares a story about a ring and an Easter memory. "Funny how things fade from memory and can be brought back by the simplest things."

At the end of Joe's story he notes, "Funny how things fade from memory and can be brought back by the simplest things." That single, eloquent statement is the essence of Project Keepsake. We keep things near to us to help us remember—to help us never forget the people, places, and events in a lifetime that are sacred to us. We don't want certain memories to fade away like fog lifting from a grassy field—present one moment, then gone the next. Keepsakes help us keep those very special memories in focus.

Thanks to Joe for allowing me to reprint his keepsake story. And thanks to all of you for reading about keepsakes and the special memories they contain.

A couple of days ago I ran across this ring that belonged to my dad among some things we haven’t looked at in a long time. I barely remember it and don’t even remember the last time I saw it. I slipped it on my ring finger and it fit, so I’ve been wearing it. Wearing the ring got me thinking about dad and an event on Easter morning 1967 came rushing back to me.

We moved into what we called the ‘red and white’ house at Fairview Crossroads off the old Cameron highway a couple of miles east of Poteau in 1966. Dad owned a lumber yard and built houses with some carpenter partners and by then I was old enough to hang out with him. Plastic plumbing pipe (PVC) was kind of a new thing back then and to save some money building the house, dad decided to do the plumbing and I helped. We’d go out to the house after the lumber yard closed and on the weekend and he and I installed all the plumbing.

On Easter morning 1967, we were up early getting ready for church when we heard a loud pop somewhere in the house and quickly discovered the connection between the plastic and copper water line leading from the hot water tank was broken. Dad shut off the water to the house and in short order was able to temporarily bypass the hot water tank to get the water turned back on. The problem was, we had no hot water for showers that morning and being a typical spring day, the temperature wasn’t cold, but taking a shower with no hot water was a real thrill.

We made it to church looking good in our Easter best without anyone knowing we’d taken cold showers. After church, we ate lunch and dad and I went to the lumber yard and retrieved the necessary items to fix the plumbing and all was well.

I haven’t thought of this particular Easter in years. Funny how things fade from memory and can be brought back by the simplest things.

Happy Easter everyone and may you have plenty of hot water for your Sunday morning shower.
— Joe Harwell from his blog at joeharwell.wordpress.com/
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I know you have a keepsake—or two, or three. Share your story with me and the world. 

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