“You spend the first part of your life collecting things … and the second half getting rid of them.

Today is lovely, sunny but cool at 42˚. The breeze is ever so slight. It’s morning nap time for the dog and cat. Maddie is 18 now. Gracie is 12. Lately, Gracie has had trouble maneuvering the stairs. Her back legs slide when she is coming downstairs so I am always in front of her just in case. When she was young, Gracie jumped the six-foot fence in the backyard, but now she and I share the infirmities of growing old and the dangerousness of steps.

I could never play a dead body. Yesterday I watched a few CSI New York episodes. In just about every one of those, one scene is in the morgue. The actor is lying on the slab while trace evidence is removed or explained. I’d be giggling.

I’m a slug. I have laundry to do, but the bag sits by the door. I have no ambition. When I was working, I was always busy on the weekends. I actually got more done in two days than I now finish in a week. Time is the reason. I always figure I have lots of time to do stuff so I procrastinate and stuff doesn’t get done. I used to feel guilty about that. I am now guilt free. The nuns would be horrified.

I collect cookbooks with literature inspired recipes. One whole shelf in my kitchen bookcase is filled with them. My first was a Shakespearean cookbook. When I did a medieval meal a long way back, I used many of the recipes from that book. Little House on the Prairie, Hemingway, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, The Boxcar Children, Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott are just a few of my cookbooks. I love sitting and reading the recipes and planning a menu in my head. I think about colors and melding herbs. I mix and match vegetables. Mostly I have one grand meat dish but sometimes I need two. The table decorations are part of the planning. One meal, inspired by Dickens, had laminated pages of old books for place mats. In the middle of the table were different piles of books. They held the hot dishes. For music, I played an album of authors singing. It was just horrible. I don’t even remember how I found it, I don’t remember its name and I have no idea what happened to it. Maybe it was burned at the stake by my guests.

When I was a kid, I collected stamps and belonged to a stamp club. We met after school and some Saturdays at John Hickey’s house. I filled an album then lost interest in stamps. Besides, it was actually John Hickey more than stamps which held my interest. Strangely enough, my aunt and uncle now live in what was John Hickey’s house. I have no idea where he is. We went to different high schools.

I haven’t collected anything in a while. I’d hard pressed to find room, but if something strikes my fancy, a new collection might just be born.

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12 Comments on ““You spend the first part of your life collecting things … and the second half getting rid of them.”

  1. BG Says:

    I smiled at your mention of collecting, something that most of us have done at one time or another in our lives. I’m not trying to hijack your blog but it occurred to me that it might be fun for some of us to share our particular interests. Of course, if this doesn’t work out then I’ll be left hanging. 😉

    My obsession of many years is vintage fountain pens — the kind they used in the 1920s-1940s. If you’re curious you can see some of them here: https://goo.gl/photos/3dQp8jn2xsnZ3neT6

    • katry Says:

      BG,
      I used fountain pens all the time when I was a kid. I really liked the way the ink looked. I still have a couple of Parker pens from the 50’s, but I haven’t used them in a while.

      I’ll give it a try, sharing our interests. I’ll give it a whirl tomorrow. At least you and I can answer!!

  2. Bob Says:

    I never had the urge to collect stamps or coins, but I loved collecting books. When I was a kid I collected paperback books which were cheap and easy to carry around and store in my small bedroom. Later on I expanded to hardback books. I also had a collection of baseball caps including a New Era one I received from the clubhouse manager of the Texas Rangers in 1973. I had a cap from the Jacksonville Bulls of the short lived and defunct United States football league. The hats and most of the paperback books went away when we downsized and moved into smaller digs. I did keep the hardback ones. I can’t part with everything.

    Today was beautiful with clear skies and mid seventies temperatures.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I could never downsize as too many of my things would have to go like all the stuff from Ghana in 1969-71 when I was first there and the different stuff in the last 3 trips. There’s Christmas, pottery, baskets and so much more.

      My mother used to say we’d be surprised by what she had when she went toes up.

      • Bob Says:

        When your mother died how much stuff did she leave?

        Kat, you can’t take it with you. 🙂 After you’re gone you won’t miss any of it and your treasures will become someone else’s junk. My father used to say the last check you write should be to the undertaker and it should bounce. 🙂

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        She had saved cards we’d made for her when we were young which was actually fun to see. My mother had lots of pewter, silver and lots of collections of dishes and household items, many of them old.

        Some of my jewelry has already been given away. I gave my pearls to my niece when she turned 21 and some to my sister. I use a variety of dishes and glassware so that’s staying here. I think my family will take what they like.

  3. olof1 Says:

    I’ve never been a big collector of anything really, like You I tried stamps but that died out fairly quick 🙂 Now I sort of have lots of cameras so I guess one can say I collect those 🙂 I have so many books that I can’t find any place for them but I wouldn’t say I collect them, I just buy them 🙂

    We’re having a storm here today, my car jumped around on the roads but thankfully there was very little traffic.

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I’m thinking your cameras are part of a collection, and I agree books just seem to mount up as you read them.

      Today is another warm day, bright but not sunny.

      Enjoy your evening!!

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I think the rule is that if you have more than two of something, it’s a collection. I have a collection of Stuff. I have a lot of Stuff of various kinds and ages. Some of my Stuff has been given away but most of it is going to be SEP (Someone Else’s Problem). 🙂 Not the knitting Stuff. That will go to a knowledgable knitting friend who will disperse it amongst other knowledgable knitting friends. It’s tradition.

    There are many dishes in the sink and laundry by the cellar door. Today is too lovely to do either of those things so I won’t. And I feel not a flicker of guilt, either.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      i Caryn,
      I always insist five or more as I have two of too many things. I like that, SEP. I figure my two sisters being younger might last longer than I. They then have the chore of my house. Among other things I have a lot of Simon Pearce so I hope they chose wisely as to the niece or nephew who gets the glassware and the rest of my treasures.

      The clothes still sit waiting to be washed. Gracie and I went out, and we stopped at 3 places. I did take out clean sheets but they are still on the chest waiting for their turn.

      Our day isn’t as nice as yours.

  5. sprite Says:

    Was the band the Rock Bottom Remainders?


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