Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Age is just a number
I am a hoarder. My mother is a hoarder. My grandmother was a hoarder.
I have an apartment and a garage full of treasures. It’s fairly well organized. And I try to go through it at least once a year to make sure I really need the collection of sentimental t-shirts I’ve never worn. (Spoiler alert: I don’t. So every time I reduce the collection by half.) But it’s still a whole lot of stuff. Old stuff. New stuff. Cute stuff. Ugly stuff I think I can make cute.
My mother has moved four times in four years and yet she’s still managed to collect treasures wherever she goes. Old stuff. New stuff. Stuff on sale that’s just too good to pass up. There is a storage unit in Chicago full of treasures (including most of my childhood stuff and probably several never-worn sentimental t-shirts). There is a house in Oakland with boxes. And there is her current residence which generates it’s own finds.
But my grandmother? We are normal, contributing members of society compared to her. She filled up a mansion in California and then when it was full she bought a farm in Oregon. A farm with over a dozen garages and outbuildings and shacks and sheds. And then she filled them all up.
She went to garage sales and antique malls and flea markets and church rummage sales. She had stuff of value (Mayan furniture) and stuff of nothing (boxes of cheap, empty picture frames). She had journals of her life, her studies, her work in medicine and politics and education, and then printouts of websites.
I’ve inherited some stuff from her and it’s old stuff. I’ve inherited some stuff from my mom and it’s old stuff. I’ve bought some of my own old treasures at garage sales and antique malls and at flea markets. I try to be prudent and non-sentimental as much as possible. And at least mostly organized. But I inherited more than just the stuff. I inherited the love of stuff, of possession, of a few of my favorite things.
I can’t tell you the oldest thing I own cause I own so many things. But age doesn’t matter. I love them all. My stuff is my home.
Posted by Abigail at 9:16 pm