I am a bonafide Born Collector. First it was Car Coins and Airplane Coins from Jello. Yes, I AM that old. Then it was the little ceramic figurines that came in Red Rose Tea. And then Stamps, of course. In the late 60’s, Salt and Pepper shakers were on the top of my list … 99 cents a set. In the 70’s … the macramé and crewel work days, it was Owls that spoke to me. Of course, over the years I have HAD to collect Donkeys. How could I not? And then the momentum started the train to Clutter & Chaos going faster & faster as we sped regularly through auction sales and antique shops and my passions kept growing with every cool thing that I ever imagined… crocks and clocks, oil lamps, old dolls, antique toys, classic books, teapots and teddy bears. And Christmas Stuff – big time.
I am a Keeper. A keeper of not only my memories, mementos and stories, but of those I love who can no longer keep their own. My mother, my father, my sisters and brother, my grandparents, Brian’s parents and grandparents. And throw in the odd Aunt and Uncle. That’s a lot of people, and a lot of responsibility.
I was also born with a sentimental heart – a deadly combination for a Collector and a Keeper.
A few years ago my girls had an intervention with me. “Mom,” they said “seriously - you have GOT to STOP attaching stories to EVERYTHING. And stop TELLING us. You’re making us as bad as you. We can’t get rid of stuff because we hear you saying… “that was my great aunt’s sister’s cousin’s neighbour’s husband’s” They weren’t joking. It’s a chain that they want release from. I can’t help it, I’m all about Stories. It comes with the heart.
A couple years ago Jae was redoing her house – going from country décor to more funky and modern. A big, beautiful Robert Duncan print that I had given her no longer suited and she needed to let it go. She made the move and took it down and then called me in exasperation. ‘THANKS A LOT, Mom.” She growled. “I finally came to terms with letting it go, then I turned it over and you’ve WRITTEN the story on the back. So now, not only do I have The Story, but I have it in YOUR handwriting. And you’ve SIGNED and DATED it! Now what am I supposed to do??”
So … what did ‘we’ do? I took it back. And since I have no place for it either, I took this big honkin’ picture all the way to
and hung it above the couch. It is far from ‘Newfoundlandish’. Someone commented: ”Why do you have a winter
picture of farm animals in a summer sea-side home? It’s kind of out of
place.” I answered: “It’s a long story.” Newfoundland