Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Gatherings

 This has nothing to do with human gatherings or spirits gathering or all animate objects gathering.  If you're hoping to read something about a haunted house of creatures or a field of restless zombies all "Gathering" to assault the world, you have come to the wrong blog.  I have never been able to get into the zombie thing.  Now I like a few of the space creature or ancient sorcerer getting together - assuming the bad ones are eliminated by the end of the adventure.  We move on.


Back in high school I read a book by H. Allen Smith called Lost in the Horse Lattitudes.  I can't say I remember much about it.  Surely I picked it up at the local Hockley County Library after I had finished reading all of their Wizard of Oz books.  There was quite a series of those.  I cannot remember my age - but I enjoyed the book.  I seem to remember it as a glommed together of several short happenings (stories) haphazardly lumped together in to a moderately sized book, easily read.   My spell check doesn't like the word "glommed."   You don't suppose that "glommed" is not a real word, do you?

I enjoyed that book.  Since I can't find it among my junk, I must have found it at the library.  Yes, I would like to reread it someday.  Maybe it is on amazon.  First of all, consider that I have remembered the title and author for over 60 years and tears.  That in itself is remarkable for me.  One story stayed with me all this time, the details of which I have forgotten.  H. Allen Smith wrote about an uncle (may have been a cousin or grandparent) who was a bit strange.  He kept a gallon jar under his bed filled with his toenail clippings.

That haunts me.   

I have trouble getting my toes up high enough to properly clip...much less collect.


Which brings me to Gatherings.   He gathered his toenail clippings in a gallon jar.  I'm sure his heirs were appreciative.   Over the years, I have Gathered things.  Most folks consider my gatherings to be innocuous  (ooooo, ooooo, be jealous of me for using that word).  For many years I would pick up match books and file them away.  For a while I put a wire across the wall and hung them up to display.  Then, one year, as we were considering leaving Ardmore, my family encouraged me to sell them in a yard sale (actually a backyard sale).   $5 - a sizable sum in those days.  My matchbooks went to some poor slob.  I miss those matchbooks.  Some were quite interesting - to me.

Later I started picking up business cards.  I had several.  Then, I received a letter (pre-email times) in which a cousin told me about a dying child who collected business cards, and how much joy he had when more business cards arrived.  This was before I became calloused about "scams."  I thought for a while about it.  I mailed all of my cards to the child - all of my collection - truly just a small box.  Never did I hear back or receive a thank you note.  I was a tad bit bitter.  Too late.  That was in Amarillo.   The kid was somewhere in the Midwest like Ohio or Iowa.  Never could tell those two states apart.

Life went on.  When I moved from Amarillo, I dumped my 10 year collection of Instrumentalist Magazine in a trash bin.  All gone.

Years passed.  Christine (#1 daughter, the eldest) was on the Texas Tech plant judging team.  How about that.  They traveled to Florida for a competition.  We were living in Plano when we saw her next; she brought Florida gifts.   Mine was a Disney key ring.  As a mere offhand remark, I said, "I guess I am collecting key rings now."   That was the "Event."  I now have a few thousand key rings ... maybe hundreds is more accurate (so who's counting?).  

I have almost quit acquiring / buying key rings.  One day I had an Epiphany.  One can't own a copy of every key ring produced in the world.  You can try, but you will fail.  The last one I bought was from Buc-ees in Ennis.  It sets on the kitchen table next to the salt shaker.  Cute little critter.

That reminds me.  We were visiting my mother in Levelland many years back.  I had been given a small music box.  I made the remark, "I would love to own 100,  no 200, music boxes to display on one wall."  I should have paraphrased that remark for you, the reader.  Immediately I caught myself.  What was I thinking?  I backed up and explained to all within hearing range that I only wanted the 200 if I could get them all at one time.  No dribbling in of music boxes.  All 200 at once or none at all.

It was too late.  The idea had already taken root.  I started receiving one or two every "present giving" day.  The collection (or gathering, if you will) had begun.  I get blamed for collecting stuff, but it is not all my fault.   I do not think I have reached 200 music boxes yet.  For the past 12 years, they have been collecting dust on a wall in the garage.  Our house is too small to offer a display option.   I do love music boxes.  Once in my early years with my computer Excel program, I did try to inventory all my key rings and music boxes.  Eventually, that project failed.

Well, folks, I'm gonna sum this up.  I have other collections.   Being a Republican, I thought it would be fun to own a stuffed elephant.  That gathering has grown and grown.  Branching out from stuffed elephants, all sorts of elephants, I have.  I'd betcha that I have a hundred around here somewhere.  

Of course, I have several dachshunds - not only the live models - but others to look at. Some are quite nice.    CD's, Recordings, Tapes, VCRs, you get the picture.  I once owned many many band records - 33 rpm.  I put an adv. on ebay and sold them all to some guy back east.   I need to do that with SOME of my other stuff.     Louis L'Amour books, I have them.  The "Wheel of Time" series by Robert Jordan - they are here.  Decks of Cards - ?  of course, I have several.  My list of stuff gathered perhaps shows my age.   Did I mention the piles of postcards?  Some go back to the early 1900s.  They are fun to hold and read.  Innocuous messages scrawled in the early morning hours by people I'll never meet (there I used the word twice in the same bluggy).

I do love stuff.  M&Ms are just fun to have.  Coca-Cola.  Hobbit books - Harry Potter stuff - just plain workman tools ---  I'll stop here with the question:   What do you have gathered among your things.  Are they valuable collections, or are they like mine?  I like them.  Locally nobody wants to share my enthusiasm.  Nothing here to adorn the halls of a true museum.    I could spend hours boring you with a tour of my possessions (Too Late).  I Won't - but I Could.  Time to move on.  Today is my day to check the financial books in preparation for our next month of hibernation.  Then, this afternoon, with true joy in my heart - I mow the leaves in the backyard.

It never ends.

take care,  "TREES,  LEAF  ME  ALONE!!!"

Mtz (#3)

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