Saturday, April 30, 2005

You throwing that out?

I am a collector. A connoisseur of junk, useless tidbits and odd baubles I find anywhere and everywhere. I may never find a need or have an inclination to utilize their unique qualities. And though I often recycle them into new and useful tasks, it is the act of collecting I seem hooked on. Bending over, picking it up, contemplating some future application and stashing it for the trip home.

As far back as my shaky recollection can go, I have collected. Large or small, I have always been fascinated by other folk's cast offs. My parents did their best to break me of the habit. Especially after that cool rock I found jammed the washing machine and fried the motor. The last straw was the day I scored 8 to 10 sheets of used plywood and stuck them out on the porch of our 3rd floor garden apartment. Dad was definitely not impressed. Even after I assured him they were destined for that one of a kind tree fort me and my buds were planning. It didn't matter, he made me haul them back from whence they came. He certainly had no appreciation of the time and effort it took to cart each one the 1/2 mile or so to our apartment. I sure found some appreciation when I took them back.

Fast forward 50 years. 50 years of unsupervised and unmonitored collecting. The garage became unusable 15 years ago. So I built a shed. Out of found stuff of course. It filled up 10 years ago. Now I just heave it all out into the yard. Over there is a crushed wheel barrow. The wheel is still good and holds air. Behind the shed, a pile of ancient barn boards continue their aging process. Scored some well tiles a few years ago. They sit unused in the pucker behind the house. Here a pile of old bricks. There a stand of 8 inch blocks. 275 feet of 2 inch plastic pipe leans up against the pines. Pulled it out of the well 5 or 6 years ago and couldn't bear to part with it. I have at least 5 lawn mowers. Only 2 work. And bikes. Jeez, the bikes, bike parts, old broken frames, wheels. Must be a 30 yard container worth. Yeah, I like to collect it all. Whatever it is.

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