My name is Christine, and I am a collector.
I hate that I have to admit that. I could have sworn I wasn't. It just doesn't fit my personality. I hate chotchkes. I strongly dislike stuff covering every inch of flat surface. I read a post recently* in which a woman discussed collections, then asked if we, the readers, collected anything. I answered (in my head) a loud and definitive, "HECK NO!" In all caps.
And then I started walking around my house.
I have collections everywhere!!
Are they out in the open cluttering up every surface in the house?
They are all hidden away from public viewing. And really, any viewing, as I tend to avoid the areas where these items are stashed. But I searched them out just for you. Because my brain could think of nothing else to write. Sorry.
1. Egg cartons.
Hundreds of egg cartons. Which translates to spots for thousands of eggs. As soon as people heard we were raising chickens, they started collecting cartons for us. They are so sweet to do it for us, so of course I don't say, "No, we have enough". I just take them with a big smile and a gracious thank you and start another stack in the basement. Why? Because one day we will be great farmers, with chickens who are stellar layers, laying not one, not two, but three eggs a day. Each! We'll be happy to have these cartons then.
2. Beer Koozies
For all the beer we don't drink.
I keep 22 Koozies in a cooler in our basement. (We have lots of coolers, which, I now realize, was our first collectable. We got married in the age of "Newly Married Couples Must Go on Lots and Lots of Picnics" which required everyone to buy one for us. We received 4 picnic baskets and 6 coolers at our wedding shower.) Not one of these koozies has ever been used. See that fancy one with the "Didgeri..." on it? Still has a tag. Even the cool one with the neck strap has failed to see the light of day. Why do we keep them? Good question. I forgot to mention in my "what am I looking forward to" listicle that COW and I are going to become huge drinkers of cheap beer, lounging around in our underwear on the front porch. It's hot in the summer, and there's nothing worse than warm beer covered in "sweat".
We have painted exactly 4 rooms in this house. Kitchen, dining room, little boys' room, and big boys' room. So why do we have 16 gallons of paint? Because the people who lived here before us painted lots of rooms, and kept the paint. Apparently, I hate to be the one who breaks tradition. That, and we're too lazy to find a place to dispose of it.
4. Flimsy Draw-string Backpacks
It seems every couple of years there is a new "it thing" to pass out for free. At the fair, at Turkey trots, at soccer games, with the purchase of a pair of shoes. One year it was water bottles. I miss the days when it was pencils. I love a good #2 (pencil). For the last couple of years, the thing has been these backpacks. Feast your eyes, People, on the largest collection known to athletes everywhere. These 25 are the ones being stored under our bed (with the 30 other bags of varying types). There are at least 15 floating around the house as Scout bags, library book bags, overnight bags and more. Why do I keep them? Because we want to be ready in case of emergency. Just picture me standing with the bags, passing them out to the children while I scream, "Hurry! You can only take with you what fits in this bag! Move! Move!" And we'll have 15 people staying with us at the time, so we'll need all those extras.
5. Strollers and other baby necessities
We have four umbrella strollers, one double stroller, a seat to attach to a bike for the baby to ride in, and 4 booster seats in the basement. Why? Because, clearly, we believe God, with his infinite sense of humor, will "bless" us with quadruplets any day now. And one of us will go so crazy we will take that bike in the photo, strap on the bike seat and the favorite child, and ride off into the sunset. COW was a Boy Scout. "Be Prepared" is the motto of the scouts. (No, really, it is. There's a song that says so and everything.)
Shoes, and not fun, pretty ones.
This is the shoe cubby which you once saw in the tour of our old kitchen. In preparing for the remodel, we moved the cubby to the basement, shoes included. Not one of those shoes has been touched since. Why? It seems we're worried that the government will never reopen, and the country will shut down. We are prepared to run as far as we need in order to find food and water.
We have a drawer in the built-ins in the dining room specifically for the care and keeping of chargers. In this photo, there are 20 of them. There are more still in the drawer. I got too tired pulling these out to go any farther. You will notice some of them are wound up and rubberbanded. About 6 months ago, in a fit of "Where the hell is my camera cord?!?!" I organized the drawer a bit. Do I know what all of these cords are used to charge? Heavens, no. I do know some, though. Like the cord for the phone I owned two years ago. The phone which died and meant Giant was unable to reach me when I accidentally left him at home. I have no idea why I still have the charger, so don't ask. (And yes, after taking this picture, I put it right back in the drawer.) I keep most of them, though, because I don't know to which electronics they belong. As soon as I throw some cords away, you will find me at the drawer, electronic in hand, painstakingly going through all the ones we still have, trying desperately to shove a rectangle into a square, looking for the charger that fits, muttering, "See? THIS is why we shouldn't throw them away!"
I have no doubt there are more "collectables" around somewhere. Like the stack of baseball caps in a family who doesn't play baseball or wear baseball caps ever. Or the plastic grocery bags, from all the times I forget to bring my reusable ones into the store. We don't use them in the kitchen for trash anymore, so there are gobs of them littering the mudroom. I'm getting depressed just thinking about it.
To cheer me up, why don't you tell me about something you collect for no good reason.
Have a lovely day!
*As longtime readers know, my memory ain't what it used to be. I could not find the blog or the post. If it was you, or if you know who wrote it, please let me know. I'd like to put a link to her post in there.