Sunday, February 11, 2018


I like to collect things and I think it is because growing up, my mother loved her “whatnots,” as she called them. She had shelves full of figurines and items I was never allowed to touch as a kid. I think I spent half my childhood with my hands behind my back and still do that when I’m around something expensive.

However, her love of collecting things made an impression on me and when I was younger I started collecting too. Maybe it was because we enjoyed doing it together, or maybe it’s something I would have done anyway but it was such fun. I started with bear collectibles simply because I loved bears. Usually they were inexpensive and cute – nothing that would cost of lot if it was broken.

Right after high school, I started collecting carousel horses; my first one was bought at a drugstore and seemed expensive to me at the time. I think I remember it was close to $40 or so, but with inflation that same item will set you back around $90. It was my first bigger purchase for something just to sit on a shelf to admire and it made me proud to have bought it with my own money.

When I was in high school, my best friend Janet and I went to World Bazaar in the mall and spent hours filling up an entire shadow box with tiny glass animals as a gift for my mom, all painstakingly chosen. Tiny elephants, little dogs, cute bears – a myriad of glass creatures with every piece having significance behind why we chose it. My mom cherished that and had it on the wall up until her death – 27 years later.

She also collected angels and kept them in a heavy, lighted curio cabinet with glass doors that kept them dust-free and away from her grandchildren’s sticky fingers and clumsy hands. Glass angels, porcelain ones with feathery adorned wings, and even whimsical ones with honey hair that looked childlike and full of saccharine. Every holiday I would try to get her something for that collection and after her death it moved to my dining room, so now I’m the gatherer of angels.

My mother also had a salt and pepper collection that would rival any country store or antique shop. Once she got started, everyone would buy her a set when they went on vacation or simply saw something they knew she’d like. The last set I got her was of Ricky and Lucy because she absolutely loved the I LOVE LUCY show – those too are in my home now.

Over the years I’ve collected many things – cigar boxes that sometimes still smell like tobacco, snow globes that create a blizzard in a tiny world once you shake them, decorative bottles filled with peppers I’ll never eat, honey colored oils, or amber colored vinegar, and wine that is never opened but instead displayed for their unique labels of dapper dogs or my favorite rock star’s brand. My interests have changed throughout the years but whatever I have collected in the past is still just as special to me.

Part of the wonder of cherished items is that something you loved is passed down to someone else, like my mother’s angels. I don’t have children so when I die, I imagine these things won’t be important to anyone else or then again, maybe someone will be able to enjoy it as much as I have and they will find a new home where someone else cherishes their presence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for finally writing about >"Cherished" <Loved it!


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