PACK RAT OR COLLECTOR

I was sitting here wondering what we could talk about this week when one of my husband's favorite TV shows caught my attention.

The show is called AMERICAN PICKERS, and if you haven't seen it, its these two guys that travel the country in a van, buying things from "collectors" to sell to other "collectors". I've placed parenthesis around the word collector for a reason. Eight out of ten times the collections they are looking at resemble junk piles more than collections.

This made me think. What do we collect? And are we collectors or pack rats?

You shouldn't be surprised to know that I collect books. Shelves, corners, and boxes of books. My book collection--the picture is just a small sample--probably borders on pack rat. I used to think it was sacrilege to get rid of books. I might want to read them again...

I am ashamed to admit that there are boxes of books, lovingly wrapped in plastic, packed in boxes, taped, and stored in one of our storage buildings. They've been out there for almost 20 years, I can only imagine that the term "book" barely applies at this point in time. I'm afraid to go out and look.

I'm a Star Trek fan. Books, plates, episodes on VHS tape, comic books, Christmas ornaments...I'm sure you get he picture. I'd say collector here. With the exception of the plates adorning my kitchen, most of it is packed away in a dry place with a little more care than the books mentioned above.

I've sold AVON for more than twenty years. Every year, once a representative reaches a certain goal in sales, we are awarded a 12 inch porcelain figurine called a Mrs. Albee. Mrs. Albee was the very first AVON lady. The figurines are always beautifully done in period costumes. If any of you historical writers need some tips on late 1800-early 1900 dresses, I can help with that. I'm happy to say that I have a Mrs. Albee for each year I've been in business. Definitely a collection.

Other than books, which I've "collected" all my life, Unicorns would fall next in line. My first husband bought my first unicorn for me over thirty years ago. Between gifts from friends, and souvenirs picked up on vacation, I probably have over 100 unicorns placed here and there. These in the picture are just the ones next to my desk. I'd have to say collection where these are concerned.

Last but not least, we have to go back to the AVON. Here in this beautiful cabinet my husband gave me for Christmas, is twenty years worth of AVON (mostly) jewelry. It was a heart wrenching few hours as I sorted through boxes, deciding what to keep, what to toss, and what to give to the granddaughters. I think I'd have to say pack rat here, cause the cabinet barely closes and I'm already looking at this lovely piece in the new book that I need REAL bad...

So, tell me, what do you collect? Are you a collector or a pack rat?



  

10 comments:

  1. Sharon - I'm definitely not a pack rat. I'm a big fan if getting rid of things.

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    1. I take after my mama, not a horder, but fond of my things.

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  2. I collected dolls for years and still have most of them. With collecting, I get to a certain point where I can't stand the clutter and no longer buy anything. Some stuff gets packed away, while I display what I really love. Marginal items get sold or given away.

    Teacups & Saucers, thimbles, and, of course, books are things I collect. Books are the one thing I never stop collecting, but I do give away a ton of them.

    Does that make me a borderline pack rat?

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    1. Susan, I have teacups and saucers too all from Avon. I think, depending on the items, there's a little bit of pack rat in all of us.

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  3. HI Sharon, great pictures and interesting blog. Over the years I collected spoons and thimbles and pig accessories but they're gone now, except for a few pewter pig accessories. I have been paring down life and stuff. The books dearest to my heart are still here but I donated tons of them to the public library over the last year, even my art history books, because I can access the artists and pictures on line. I don't even buy "souvenirs" when we travel, and the attic is getting a great big overhaul: holiday decorations I will never use again are making it to Good Will.

    After my father's death, my mother (always a messy person to begin with. I am not.) became a hoarder. Nothing like that horrible TV show, but dreadful enough. I had to go through her awful house when she went into a retirement facility, and I realized how much stuff of my own I don't need LOL. If I obtain something new (e.g. the collapsible bowls at Pampered Chef) I get rid of something old. (e.g. my covered Tupperware bowls.) My kids don't need to shovel out my stuff after I'm gone LOL.

    Good bless you. Enjoyed this post,

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    1. Tanya, had to clean out my mom's stuff so I know what you are saying. I think my girls are just out of luck. :)

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  4. There must be something in the air this weekend. I wrote a similar (although not as beautifully illustrated) blog on what I somewhat with tongue-in-cheek called "Old Friends" (www.elisemstone.com).

    I don't have any true collections. When I lived in Massachusetts, I started to collect Harbor Lights lighthouses, but once I moved to the desert they seemed out of place. I've bought a few distinctively Southwest items that I display behind the glass doors of my entertainment center.

    I love American Pickers! I also noticed the way they recast "junkyard" and "hoarder" to collection and collections. A much more positive way of looking at things that these folks value.

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    1. Ugh! That second "collections" should be collector!

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    2. Elise, Thanks for you comments. My husband watches all the shows like this. I'm always amazed at what people save.

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  5. Wow,since I live with a pack rat that calls himself a collector, I call him a hoarder, it's hard to tell the diff.

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