After a good while the things you own become imbued with spirit, as though they were alive. Mr. Toaster may seem a little oily and crusty, but he’s still a faithful friend. The lips of Philomena Mug, whose glaze is a little cracked, have met your lips so many times that you don’t mind her permanent coffee stain. There’s old Garden Hat that you never wear, with the sweat stain on his brim; he’s shared a lot of time with you that you’ll never get back again. The ski boots in the hall closet are aging prematurely, just like Uncle Mort. Ms. Mirror in the hall has seen it all, both the smiles and the frowns; she knows more than she lets on. The crack in the corner when she fell of the wall doesn’t really matter. It’s hard to take down the holiday wreath that hangs on the kitchen door; soon again she’ll be in season. No use getting sentimental; these are simply inanimate things; but they won’t have to see what it’s like to be put into the trash until after you have passed.