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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Collector or Not


I don't classify as a collector but as a keeper.

My problem resides in not knowing what to rid and how to rid it. Items too large for the passenger seat often pile up in the back room because transport is such a pain and items too small hang around to gather dust because I just don't see them.

Watching my older daughter prepare to move, I admired the fearlessness with which she tossed old photos, old papers but I had to apply my motherly shout to her process when she tossed her driver's license into the disposal file. I might have been overly stern because she, too, hasn't parted with anything since.

I purchase flat space. Another table. I purchase empty space. Another container. Another shelf. I have tables under tables, tables under chairs and containers under and on every flat space.

Paintings, frames, mats, books, papers, art supplies, cards, home videos, photos, vinyl records, VHS movies, music on cassettes, old Nintendo games, plants that almost died before someone brought them here, tchotchkes of my grandparents and parents which I can't bear to let go…the list grows.

Sympathy sometimes rattles through me when I think of what my survivors will face when I shuffle off this mortal coil (as some wise soul called it) and yet it perversely pleases me because I've requested that they wander through and take stuff with them rather than buying/bringing more stuff for me.

My garage is for storage - for out of season stuff, stuff for grandkids off to college, off to have fun, off to temporary digs. My middle granddaughter recently asked if I'd seen a bag of sand she picked up on a trip and stowed somewhere in my garage. The newest addition is a malfunctioning clothes dryer with a mixer perched boldly on top. Why not? The dryer top is flat. There may be something inside - I'll check tomorrow - that could be a good space for something.

If I become a qualified collector it'll be because of fluke rather than a concentrated effort to collect the right thing.


Fractal created in Fractal Explorer and post processed in IrfanView.

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14 comments:

Elspeth said...

Like your daughter with her 'fearlessness of tossing' I've also thrown away or ripped up things that I realise that I need after. But then again ... the sense of 'needing' the discarded object disappears when life goes on perfectly well without it.

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

I have tossed things that I later regretted tossing.
I was never sentimental before, now, the older I get, the more I find I want to hang on to things that remind me of people.
xo
Blue
Nice fractal image!

Redness said...

You're my kind of gal, I totally relate! Adore you post ;~)

Jo said...

I purchase flat space. Another table. I purchase empty space. Another container. Another shelf. I have tables under tables, tables under chairs and containers under and on every flat space.


This totally tickled me! I'm a keeper too (what a lovely way to put it).......but my lazy neatfreak tendencies have so far restricted stuff to out of sight! Very nicely done!

Robin said...

What a wonderful image - the collection of "space". I think I need to collect more of that and less of the detritus that is crowding me out of my house!

anasalwa said...

Sue,
I'm like your daughter, I have this 'fearlessness of tossing' of my belongings except my BOOKS :))

paris parfait said...

It sounds like it's a good thing you have plenty of space! I go through periods of time of being ruthless about getting rid of things; other times, I find it difficult to part with anything. Usually I justify giving something away/getting rid of it by reminding myself I will then have more free space - to fill again! :)

Just Jen said...

You sound just like my dad (you read about him on my post). I think creative people are more collectors/packrats than most. I was bopping around on your blogs and you are a creative person. Creative people see details in items that others miss. You just know the table under the table is there because you liked the legs of it, or the grain of the wood, etc...
I would love to see a house like yours! I always enjoy walking through my dads, everything is so mismatched that it matches him. Love it!

ren.kat said...

You are a collector, I think. My partner is like you, and I am like so many who've commented earlier. I have to wrest the kid's old plastic pants from his hands to make room in the attic (for my books).

Hope said...

Space is premium in my home. Between the basement flood 14 years ago to the barn fire just a few years ago, I get the message, I'm not meant to collect anything. Instead I search for treasures, very special things, and what I find is that space is the most precious.

Patois said...

If only we could take the items pushed on us when our parents and grandparents are alive.

A lovely read.

Shelby said...

Loved this :)

Frances said...

Evidentally you are my husband's long lost sibling.
If I want to clean/throw out things he can not be within a mile of the place.
Thanks for visiting.

nonizamboni said...

Finders, keepers I always say! A lovely post and I could identify with every word. I have one ruthless daughter and one who keeps things and neither want my old stuff.
Thanks for sharing!