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    Fig Industries: These are a few of our favorite things.

    We are defined by the people who raised us, the places we’ve been, and the hardships we’ve overcome. For our team, we’ve taken a moment to look back on the milestones in our lives that defined who we are as individuals—the small things with big meaning—and we featured some of them on the cover of this issue.


    They may not look like much, but each item represents a step taken that has shaped us as people. These are the small things that add up to who we are. These are the things we keep.




    Compass: The brass compass was gifted to me at the age of 13 by my grandfather after we decided to take a spontaneous trip to Gettysburg on Thanksgiving day with other members of our family. I’ve taken that compass with me on every trip and adventure I’ve ever been on. It’s been in roughly 40 states and 3 countries.


    LS Little League Pin: The pin was given to me at the age of 7 at the Strasburg baseball fields right behind the old library. At that time, my Dad was coach and our team was the Blue Jays (we were the worst team in the league but we still had fun). The pin commemorates the 10 year anniversary (1994-2004) of the Lampeter Strasburg Little League.





    Dutch Blitz: If you ever played Dutch Blitz, you know that it’s fast moving and lots of fun. I started playing this game as a very small child. It taught me my numbers, colors, and how to lose gracefully. When my own kids came along, they learned the game too—we eventually had to buy the extension pack. The particular game in the photo is the original game from my childhood and predates me, made in the late 60s. This game stands the test of time and reminds us of our PA Dutch heritage.





    Concert Ticket: The U2 ticket was the first big concert that I attended in high school. My friends and I piled into an old orange VW beetle and made our way to the Spectrum in Philly. The Pixies opened the show and I was forever hooked on the live music experience—it’s a feeling like no other. I’ve gone on to attend hundreds of shows, big and small, all over the country since that show, and met many like-minded music-loving friends over the years. They are my favorite people!





    Marvel Flair Card: I’m happy to say some of my favorite childhood memories were made at small local businesses. My Marvel Comic card represents the trips my dad and I would take down to the local comic book store, sometimes followed by ice-cream at the shop next-door. I was an awkward kid who didn’t always fit in, so it was a relief to have the Comic Book store to go where I felt comfortable, and saw images of powerful strong women. I love that I can look back to cards that are over 20 years old and have multiple heroines to choose from for my card option. Having role models of strong women is critical for our youth, and I’m happy to say these images along with other influences have helped mold me into the person I am today.





    Immigration Card and Letters:When my mom was 5, her mother left her in the care of relatives while she went to America to make a better life, promising to soon bring her children over to live with her. During 8 years of separation, my school-age mom wrote her mother letters filled with moments of hope, heartache, and the life of a girl growing up without her mother. I appreciate my mother even more every time I read them.


    Jewelry: I’ve kept the milestone jewelry that my parents gave me throughout the years, even though I would not be caught dead wearing it today. The cocktail ring with jade and my birthstone, though, I wear that one. It’s vintage, cool, and chunky; a conversation piece that will never go out of style.





    1991 Robin action figure: I was told that during the Christmas season of 1991, the Kenner Toys Robin action figure was one of the most popular toys for young boys. Because of this, every toy store was completely sold out in carrying this item that I so desperately wanted. Being that this was before the rise of the internet, my parents had to pull out all the giant yellow phone books and call every toy store in the area to try and track it down. After much disappointment, my parents tried one last store. The store clerk told them that he thought they’d been sold out for a while now, but that he would give one last check. He did, and at the very back of the shelf he found one last toy. That Christmas I did end up getting what I wanted, but I also gained a glimpse of the love that my parents had for me. They would bend over backwards to make life special for me and my siblings.



    Key Chain: TϕT is a fraternity that I pledged to in 2013, founded in 1986 to encourage and sponsor development of collegiate activities, community service, scholarship, and brotherhood.





    Watercolor Paints: My mom and I are a lot alike. We both love collecting interesting objects. When she was little, she bought this paint box in Disney World. It says “Pluto’s Paint Box” on the front. Over time, the paints started to fall out, but that only added to it’s charm. She passed it down to me when I was younger and I always held onto it in my desk, adding to the collecting of simple objects I love.





    Block Name Bracelet: A throwback to childhood, these name bracelets were so popular as a child in the 80s. I look at the size and realize how small my wrist was! Looking at this bracelet always makes me smile, it is a reminder of a carefree childhood and the simple joys of being a little girl.