Monday, July 28, 2008


A good friend of mine returned from a trip to family in Minnesota. While there, the matriarch, who is 92, pulled all the gals into her room and started to hand out something clearly precious to her-

her old dresses.

As she pulled them out, she remembered where she bought them and why- a special affair or party. It made for great storytelling.

Not really dresses anyone would want to wear in this day and age, but that wasn't the point. I doubt seriously she was aware she was getting rid of a collection she'd kept for years without thought.

When you collect all things penguin- my mother had so many different penguin things in her house it was hysterical- you do so intentionally. Everyone knows you have those things and adds to it over time.

And some people have collections they are not aware of- like old dresses.

Immediately, I thought of Jeanine and all her precious computers. She will be handing them out, at 92, with instructions and a promise to hand them back if they are not wanted.

Me? I have cookbooks galore. I know when each one was bought, what time of life it was for me, like The 30 Minute Menu, which I bought while working in the corporate world. Of course, I have a Moosewood Cookbook, bought at the same time I bought my first Cris Williamson record.

Another friend mentioned ancient marijuana smoking devices, along with books and records. Probably vinyl which will be utterly useless then.

I'm curious... do you have a collection you aren't aware of having but could see yourself handing out when your old? With stories to tell about each piece?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, how thought provoking a question u have asked! Mostly because I don't believe you can be unaware that you collect things.

I am definatly a collecter. I mean I just bought a 6,000 sq ft house for just lil ole me that will be filled to the gills in no time!

I collect Harley Davidson things and I have one of the best collections not held by a H-D store owner, but I am totally aware of it, what I collect and the fact that I have absoletly no one to pass it on to.

Then there is my box collection. Each one has a wonderful memorie and a great story and each one holds some type of other thing I collect, like pens or books, or H-D stuff. Again, very aware of it, and no one to pass it on too.

The people in my life like to accuse me of collecting "stuff" not so much any one in thing in particular. I guess I could admit that I am not so aware of that. Well aware that I have WAY to much "stuff", but I know where it all came from and where it's all going.....thanks'll be packin for weeks when my time comes!!

Seesters are wonderful, no collection there, but definatly the best one in the world!

10:13 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

ah, shit, you gotta live to be 92 and hand it off to the kids.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Lula de Montes said...

I collect first or early editions of all my favourite books. Of course, by the time I will be ready to part with them, nobody will know what a book is. I also kept all my Latin tomes, in hopes that my daughter will follow in my footsteps... I still have cassettes with my favourite music of the 80s on them.
My progeny will look at me and think that I was walking with the dinosaurs. What can I say?

11:50 PM  
Blogger Sue J said...

I had to think overnight about this one, and realized that I hold onto t-shirts. You know, "Race for the Cure" '97, various teams I've played on, various volunteer events, etc., etc. I keep them until they are falling apart in shreds.

I don't think anyone is really going to want me to "hand them off" when I'm 92 ....

8:02 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

the only items i can remember where and when i bought them... sneakers. and i really would hold onto them... if only i had the closet space. :/

and sue- i also love collecting free t-shirts, though DW has helped me part with the bunch that have been washed and worn (for years) to shreds. she washes them, puts them on my side of the bed, and tells me, this is the last time you can wear this one. this process helps me come to peace with getting rid of the shirt. i guess she's right. until about 2006, i had a t-shirt that i got when i "graduated" from 4th grade (1989).

9:04 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

oh, we have tee shirts from a million years ago.

we have teeshirt from the gay games in 1990 where we met.

throw them away? are you nuts?

10:30 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

i thought i was nuts- but after reading that 2 of you hang onto old tees, i might need to start working on a new vintage tee collection by wearing out some newer ones!

2:07 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Model railroading stuff. My wife bought me some trains when I was going through a bad time, including a Russian decapod and a this monster:

and some nice passenger cars and a PA-1 to pull them.

(mine are in PRR livery).

If I go into unread or seldom read books and seldom heard CDs, I'm going to get depressed.

And odd pieces of Frankoma pottery?

6:10 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

Do children count? Or animals? Got both of those covered. But I guess they don't count. I have old tee shirts that have meaning if I can keep them hidden from my teenagers. Some of the concert t's are back in style. Old books every garage sale or second hand shop if I see one with an interesting cover I will buy it. Now I just need a library to display them in.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous donald said...

old tools! i have all sorts of them, unless i am trying to find one, of course! won't be able to give them to anyone, because, who uses hand tools anymore?! guess there is always ebay!

9:12 PM  
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9:01 PM  

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