Do I part with ‘limited editions’ or just ‘stuff’

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Pat Van Dyke Columnist, The Friday Flyer

Pat Van Dyke
Columnist, The Friday Flyer

Some days I pledge that I’m going to simplify my life; but then, somehow, it all takes a 180-degree turn. I tend to be a collector of “stuff.”

I acquired this problem quite easily: it’s in my genes! My mother was a collector of “stuff.”  Eleven years ago, I inherited one-fifth of my mom’s “stuff” and added it to my own “stuff.”  I am now “overstuffed.”

Today is the day to unload the stuff!

I opened our storage area and discovered an overload of Precious Moments figurines. Years ago, they were so popular and my mom knew anything with the words “limited edition” would soon be worth 100 times more than she paid for them. Thus, I acquired two large boxes filled with these figurines. After researching their current value, these “Precious People” are going to have to get a job and pay rent!

Next, I checked the worth of my mom’s “limited edition collector plates,” which she was assured by the saleswoman would be worth so much more in a few years that she could send her grandchildren to college with the profits. The only way these plates will ever help with college tuition is if the kids use them at dinner plates to avoid the cost of paper plates!

I started to feel forlorn, remembering I had promised myself that I would purchase a Lamborghini with my profits from these limited edition figurines and plates.

Not wanting my daughters to face the same dilemma someday, I decided that it was time that I dispose of my own “stuff.”

I entered my bedroom, reached under the bed, and pulled out my personal time capsule – also known as an “under-bed storage container” – which I had I filled with “stuff.” It was now the day to open the time capsule.

My first find was the envelopes containing the baby teeth of my daughters. I considered these envelopes rather “gross,” but they are a memory and I kept them. I envisioned my daughters discovering these envelopes and saying with tears in their eyes, “Look! Mom saved our baby teeth. Let’s have them made into matching necklaces!”

But I fear that they may have the same reaction my sister and I had when we found my mother’s extra pair of false teeth under my mom’s bathroom sink: “YUCK!”

Next was the guide for the black and white TV that we bought at a yard sale when we were first married. We thought we had hit the jackpot! All we had to do was use aluminum foil on the rabbit ears; however, we were thrilled when we discovered that if you hooked up the TV antenna clips to the metal window screen, it worked quite well. But only after you wrapped a string around the channel knob and tied it to a chair sitting next to the window.

I was moved to tears when I found an envelope of photos that I had taken decades ago. I knew that my love of photography would brighten my day as I revisited some of my favorite places and people. But my enthusiasm soon waned as I held in my hand faded pictures of cows, people that I didn’t remember, and uneven skylines. Even though my name was on the outside of the Thrifty’s envelope, these must have been Pastor Pete’s pictures!

It all came to a grinding halt when I found my roller skate key. I knew that everything was so precious and I had saved it all for a reason: For the memories that they carry! I shoved all of my “stuff” back into the time capsule, pushed it under the bed and left to get some “limited edition” M&Ms. Maybe, if I keep those for a couple of years, I’ll be able to afford that Lamborghini!

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