What, you say? It's a pencil, not a dish. I'll tell you how it's connected.
I love school supplies, almost as much as vintage dishes. I'd love to have Tom Hanks send me "bouquets of sharpened pencils" as well. If you're a fan of You've Got Mail, you know what I mean. Every September, the smell of new pencils and new notebooks...
So my little nub started life as a new, full size, yellow pencil, No. 2B Soft (I like the darker, bolder marks from the softer graphite) -- fresh from a box, where he lived with his cousins. That was more than two years ago, and since then, he's been the pencil I use to write names of dinnerware pieces and their new owners on boxes, and the weights of the boxes on shipping sheets.
He's been earning his keep. The shiny green "Dixon Ticonderoga" wore off quite a while ago. A few erasures, but mostly lots of lead, spent in the service of sending vintage china, dishes and things to their new homes. I've never used up a whole pencil myself before. He's not quite done, but continues writing his retirement every day.
Some businesses have framed the first dollar bill they ever made, and hung it on the wall, in a place of pride. E-commerce doesn't quite have that feature; money in electron form flies intangibly between accounts. For something to touch, I have my little nub. He shows the progress, and that work well done builds character. Perhaps some of his may have rubbed off on me.by