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November 13th, 2018

We are all Collectors

By G. E. Shuman

I am not much of a ‘collector’ of things. I do have a small front room in our home that displays several items from my family’s past. My grandfather’s Victrola is there, along with a few other antiques, books, and photos from many years ago. Other than that, I think of myself as a minimalist and look at the accumulation of ‘things’ as just so much clutter. I would rather see a mantle or a shelf displaying a few precious possessions to one that is filled with unrelated ‘stuff’, most of which provide only vague memories of how it was even obtained.

I have written here in the past about the proliferation of those wonderful storage units that have sprouted across our town and our state and fumed about the idea that they are filled with the things people bought at Stuffmart last year. Truthfully, and I admit it here, although I don’t agree with having too many possessions, what other people do is really none of my business.

Speaking of others, my dear wife is a collector. Although she has toned things down a bit lately, she is uncomfortable getting rid of anything that she has collected, whether she remembers where it came from or not. It is said that opposites attract and in this area she and I must attract strongly. Still, as with those many storage unit renters, she has a right to her things, if they are what she wants.

Actually, and this is the reason for this column, I have come to believe that, in some ways, we are all collectors. (An aside: I used to know a pastor who said he got his best sermon ideas from the sayings on Lipton tea bag tags. I get some of my column ideas, including this one, from quotes from books or videos.) Some of us collect souvenirs, baseball cards, photos, or coins. Others, like me, collect bumper sticker sayings, funny t-shirts quotes, and poems. Here is the quote from an old TV show, that prompted these thoughts today. “We fill the spaces we live in with memories.” To me, those memories make us who we are.

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