What is about collecting that brings us pleasure and satisfaction? Does it connect us to or bring back emotions from a period in our lives that we feel strongly about? In looking at what I collect there is definitely a connection to childhood memories. For instance, I have a collection of bears. My mother told me I loved my first teddy bear; carried it, hugged it, and slept with it. I still have that teddy bear and over the years have added a few more unique ones.
Along with my teddy bear, I loved Little Golden books. They were the first books that I remember someone reading to me. The oldest one I have from my childhood is Prayers For Children by Eloise Wilken. I still have my copy of Mother Goose, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Tom and Jerry, Nurse Nancy, Zorro, and Sleeping Beauty. Oh, how I loved Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, the three fairies in Sleeping Beauty and I loved the plump fairy godmother in Cinderella waving her wand and chanting as she changed Cinderella's rags into the "loveliest ball dress that ever was."
Bibbidy bobbidy boo!”
One day after I was looking through my collection of over 200 Golden books trying to find one about a train to read to my grandsons, I realized they needed to be in some sort of order. I spent a very enjoyable afternoon sorting them by themes: trains, fairy tales, bears, dogs, Christmas, religious, Disney, etc. Of course, part of the afternoon was spent reading several of them; bringing back memory after memory. Sweet, sweet memories.
I love to scatter little collections throughout the house, such as my shell collection in the bathroom that makes me think of family vacations, old keys in the guest bedroom that remind me of my grandparents’ house, and wooden spools in my sewing room that make me remember all the things my grandmother, mom, and I once sewed. These little things are special, sometimes only to me.
My favorite collection though, is my collection of rocks. Yes, you read that right – rocks! This collection began when my grandsons were small. They would pick up rocks and bring them to me as gifts; rocks for gramma instead of flowers. Oh, I’ve gotten flowers, but I’ve gotten many more rocks. They still bring me rocks now and then, especially if they find a heart-shaped one. I display these precious gifts in an old cracked bird bath in my shade garden along with others I’ve picked up on my wanderings.
It seems we all collect something. I’ve read all you need is three of a similar thing to have a collection. It may be photographs, ticket stubs, children’s school work, cameras, or books. The scope of collecting is absolutely unlimited. Those who know me know I love to research. So, of course, I did a little research looking for unusual objects that are collected. You would not believe some of the things people collect. Here’s just a few of the “not so very strange” collections I found.
banana stickers – over 7,000 unique labels
bars of soap – 5,000 bars from all over the world
joker playing cards - 8,520
napkins – 125,866 different napkins
erasers – 19,571 from over 100 countries
And the list goes on and on!
I enjoy the quest of collecting whether it’s a book, a shell, or even a simple rock. Do you collect anything? Do you enjoy the thrill of the hunt, the organizing, and the displaying? Do you collect for investment purposes, sentimentality, or simply because you love something? Wander through your home and spend some time with your collections. Maybe your collection is pretty journals stacked on your desk, family pictures arranged on the wall, delicate teacups displayed in the kitchen or an album of vintage postcards. Whatever it is . . . touch it . . . arrange it . . . organize it . . . enjoy it and smile!!