There is the coffee mug someone brought to me years ago from Starbuck's in Detroit because we were both from Detroit and they knew I would like it. There's the commemorative mug from the 1994 Barbra Streisand concert in Anaheim with the weird profile with just her eyes and nose. I love the green cat mug even though I really don't have any recollection of how it came to me. For this alone, I love it. There are is the stainless steel flatware from my grandmother, the mixing bowls from my aunt, the everyday cooking utensils I don't even recall buying.
I pull out the three remaining drinking glasses with peach etching that belonged to my aunt and mourn the loss of their three companions. that I broke one by one over the last twenty years. I should replace them. Complete sets are more useful, but these will do. Plus they are augmented by the sturdy bar glasses I have gathered, two as gifts, the others at estate sales or from Cost Plus.
Mixing bowls from my mom or aunt or a gift from a dear friend now gone. Knives of every variety. Bakeware in various shapes that are only occasionally used. Storage dishes with easily secured lids. These are from Costco I believe. Nothing with great memories, but always appreciated from their service in storing leftovers and such.
Yes, for me, unloading the dishwasher is a meditative process. Wistful thoughts about times gone by people either in my life or long gone. Call me sentimental, but that's probably why a lot of this stuff hasn't ended up at an estate sale or Goodwill. I just look at them and feel a spark of joy or comfort.