What do you collect?
I am not a great lover of tchotchkes because I am not a great lover of dusting. I do not need fifty seven plastic Santa Clauses no matter now much I love him. In Country Living magazine they have a section that showcases this gal who collects so many things. So many useless things. But if they bring her joy or remind her of a time long gone or of her mother, who am I say they are useless?
When we lost our rented farm and became homeless (not completely homeless thanks to the goodness of friends allowing us to stay in guest rooms with our nine cats until we could get on our feet which took six months), I lost so many collections. Antiques, dishes, silverware, New Mexican Santos, books….everything. For the first few years we just gathered what we needed. Why collect when it could be gone in a moment? Why waste energy and money on material items? Simplicity! Freedom!
When we were first married we both had a few Coca Cola items. I had purchased my first one from an antique store down on south Broadway when I was twelve years old using my babysitting money. Together we had the beginnings of a regular collection and friends bought us pieces and we bought pieces and it was a full blown collection before I tired of it and sold it all at a garage sale.
Back at the farm, while we were reeling from loss and devastation from losing everything, my daughter, Shyanne, was calmly moving some special things to her apartment. She had saved the Christmas ornaments we had collected over many travels and years. And she saved the wedding dishes. She gave some to me when we moved into an apartment. They are beautiful English Castle. She has the rest. I want her to have the whole collection.
Times change and our tastes change and different things become practical and memory filled. I do love useful things. Of course, over two of said items is probably just collecting.
I love aprons. They are so sensible. I wear them most everywhere. A pocket for my keys. They keep dish water from splashing on my clothes. They keep my clothes clean in case Doug wants to whisk me off to dinner. They have a delicate feminine flounce to them that takes me back to a bygone era and makes me feel pretty.
I love book bags. I have never found a purse I like. I love to throw my wallet, some tissues, my daytimer, a pen, a writing book, a great reading book or magazine, and my water bottle into a unique bag. Each bag showcases a side of me. A bear having tea. Lots of cats and books. A typewriter.
Plants. I collect plants, I admit it! I am truly out of windows now though.
Books. I can be frugal as can be. Envelope system, check. Budget, check. Book store, we didn’t need that much grocery money anyway! Even if I don’t care for the book, I keep it. I adore books. I want them to be available for others to read. I love bookshelves of creativity and knowledge at my fingertips. (I also love libraries and read a fair amount of their books too, but I also love taking my time, and a fresh new cover pleases me so.) We didn’t move our books when we moved to the country. We had such a huge collection of books while homeschooling but didn’t have the strength or time to move them all. I wish I had. I wish I had those books. The ones I had to give away when we left our farm….an autographed copy of Jane Goodall’s book…..so many books….are gone. I am clinging to these books I have now.
I know, I know, they are just material items. I know that, you know that, but material items bring some joy to our life. They remind us of things that made us who we are. They inspire us to move towards the person we want to be. I had just mentioned to someone that I wanted to find Fiesta dishes. My love of the southwest is not a secret and my home doesn’t hide that fact. Oh Fiesta dishes would make me ever so happy having my coffee in the morning. A student and friend of mine, out of the blue, offered me nine sets for a crazy low price. They were her mother’s. Her mother passed away. Can’t take it with you. I hope she loved them while she was here. I know I will love them. They inspire me and brighten my morning.
What do you collect?
7 Comments Add yours
I have a friend who opted not to keep special childhood keepsakes b/c she moved often and decided to focus on the memories instead of the objects. (Good as long as memories stay strong. I’m old enough to know they often fade without reminders of some sort.)
I have another friend who lost everything in a house fire, a fear that follows me. What one thing would I take if our house caught on fire? Not sure we ever know the answer to questions like that unless we’re actually faced with it. But that thought of such loss reminds me how temporary things are and that maybe it’s best not to become attached to material goods. But I agree that things do add to a sense of place, of home, of belonging. The balancing act is a challenge.
Over the years, I’ve tried to simplify–I don’t like dusting, either–but I also don’t want our children burdened with sifting through a houseful of what to them in meaningless stuff, or trying to decide what should be kept to carry on tradition. I know that process from painful experience. But my husband and I (he more than I) still manage to build collections. His passion is old cameras. Mine are photographs and almost anything that belonged to an ancestor. When we find a piece of antique furniture or accessory we love and can afford (a big factor, and have room for (an even bigger one), we pick it up–I love wood! But that’s about it–except for books, especially those by certain authors. I won’t give those up easily.
It is a tricky balance!
I’m not a fan of tchotchkes,hoarding, dusting either😆BUT i did fall in love with chickens! And since I can’t yet have live ones, I decorated my kitchen with them!
Nothing makes a kitchen country like chickens!
I love collecting Pyrex and old mason jars! My mom loved Pyrex and I do too! She enjoyed homemaking. I also have a little tea cup collection. And of course books one can never have enough books 🙂 happy spring! 🌷