Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bits and Bobs - a Hoarder's Story

A little while ago, a writer friend of mine who also does art was wondering what one should keep and what one should throw away.  My answer: I keep everything.

Back in... oh god, 1984? I was writing a book with a friend of mine.  Okay, she was writing the book and showed it to me and then we worked on it together for a couple months whenever we could get together and then she got bored and I took it over.  (Or I took it over because I have a more willful personality and I nudged her out. Not sure now. Hey, I was 14 and I'm a Taurus. Or something.  I don't collaborate well even now.)

Ahem, where was I?  Oh yes, the story.  I still have it.  After 31 years and umpteen moves.  It's in a box in my storage closet - still in the original blue folder.  Typed pages from me, written pages in her handwriting.  I seem to remember it was a solid idea - YA SF/F - but there it'll stay.  After I die, someone will pull it out, maybe read it, but most likely toss it.  They could give it back to her, but I have no idea where she is and her name is so common (provided she didn't get married or change it), they'd never find her.

Anyway, I'm obviously a hoarder.  Oh, not ready for any of the shows.  All the moves have trained me what to toss and what to keep.  Except as the years roll by, important stuff keeps accumulating. Well, important enough that I've dragged it from Michigan to Florida to Utah to Colorado to Missouri. 

I still have the majority of my artworks from high school and college.  Yes, none of them are good enough to frame and hang, but I worked hard on those things.  They're in the original brown portfolio I bought in college and there they'll stay. 

With technological advancements, not all of my hoard is in physical form.  I dragged around diskettes for the longest time.  I finally ditched the big floppies before I left Michigan in 2001, transferring all of their data to 3 1/2" disks.  I said goodbye to the 3 1/2" babies before we moved here in 2013, transferring all of their data to my hard drive.  I even said goodbye to the majority of my old CD/RW media and transferred that either to the HD or to USB drives.  BUT, I still have all the data.

I can't even open some of it, but I can't part with it either.  If I can ever find a way to convert LotusWrite to Word, I can access that romance novel I wrote to the halfway point back in 1997.  (Yeah, I wasn't the numbskull who thought Lotus was the wave of the future.)

I cleaned out my jewelry box the other day (because I found a lovely carved Rosewood box to replace my mass produced one - I have a thing for Rosewood boxes.)  Inside was a pendant.  It's a little turtle with pink and blue enamel bits for the shell.  I got that necklace in elementary school, I think.  The chain is long gone, but I still have the turtle.  I petted it nicely and laid it on the blue velvet of its new home - right next to my class key and my band pin.

I'm a hoarder.  I admit it.  But I don't want help.  I like having my bits and bobs around me.  Even if it's only to know they're there, somewhere close by, if I ever want to take them out and pet them.

What about you?  Got any old stuff hiding in boxes you'd like to talk about? 


  1. ROFL! I hoard the same things you do. I have a novel I wrote when I was twelve (it's probably twenty pages long; I'm afraid to look.) I have costume jewelry at least that old. I'm trying not to hoard books, but they take up two walls in three rooms.

    My name is Deb, and I'm a hoarder. :-)

    1. LOL, I haven't actually opened that blue folder in years. The last time was to show my daughter. Oh yeah on the books. I had to get rid of most of my hoard when we moved, but I'm working on building it back up again.

      Hi Deb! I'm a hoarder, too! =o)