Features

Old Yankee Hoarder

...do you really think that I can throw that out

by Betty Rossi

We New Englanders are hoarders. Old Yankees. Save it for a
rainy day hoarders. Passed down from parents who lived
through the depression years. Lovers of flea markets, craft
fairs and bargain outlets, we scour the shelves, looking for
things out of our past, a sometimes fun tradition.

Me, I love books, poetry books from the Old West, and of
course, my favorites, Edgar Guest and Eugene Field.
Cookbooks. Ah, you can never have enough cook books,
just to read, because you always make the same food...over
and over..very rarely changing the old traditional food we
eat week after week. Comfort food that we eat on certain
days of the week. World War II, the Kennedys, The Brothers
Grimm. You name it, if it's a book, I love it, need it, have to
have it.

Clothes. Clothes from when we were thinner, hoping to fit
back into them. Dressy clothes with sparkles and glitter
that you wouldn't even wear on New Year's Eve. That shirt
from the 7th grade that you can't part with even after fifty
or sixty years. Anything that has Melrose written on it. Why?
I know where I live, why do I need something to remind me?
Old cards that people have sent. Valentines, Birthday Cards,
Get Well Cards, Christmas and other holiday cards, cards
that the kids have made over the years and now the
grandkids creations. How can you throw them out? Even if
you don't look at them, you know that they are there.

Oh my gosh. Old jewelry, clunky stuff, delicate stuff, pins
you'll never, ever wear, necklaces, pearls. Who wears pearls
today? But you definitely have to save them, because you
might wear them "with that outfit".

Photographs. Pardon me, if I say, "Mamma Mia"! Now, not
only photo albums, but photographs of photographs, if you
can believe it, so that you can"share" them on line.
Photographs on CD's, because 1,500 shots on you camera
are overload. Movies on DVD's that you'll probably never
watch, but are supposed to be funny, sad, happy, award
winning, nostalgic, you name it. Oh, and those VCR tapes
of Cinderella, Pinochio, Super Mario and you name it that
you can't watch...but, well maybe the grandkids would love
them because they need to see Peter Pan. The grandkids
are into "The Walking Dead" and "Under the Dome". They
don't want our classics of anything or anyone. They have I-
Pads, phones and computers. Whatever they want to see,
they can see in an instant, on line.

Speaking of computers, another hoarding heaven. Old
jokes, old messages, old recipes, old crochet patterns.
Can't delete them, just store them in "files". Save them for a
rainy day. You never know when you'll need them.

Art books, Impressionists, American, French, New York
School, California Artists. So much talent. So many books.
So little time to read them. Crochet Books. Since I made a
beautiful coat sweater, hung it up and ooops! It stretched
and stretched and stretched. When I went back to wear it, it
was a size that would have fit a seven foot person. I always
thought that I would make another one, because I knew
that I was never going to grow another inch and surely
would never be seven feet tall, but I never did.

As kids we collected marbles, baseball cards and
autographs. Every girl had an autograph book in which
friends would write that you'd be friends "forever". How can
you throw those out?

New Englanders. Do you think that they save this stuff in
other parts of the country? Wow, the Amish would cover
their eyes. It's almost  time for yard sales. Hmmmm, I
wonder what I'll look for next.

I am a collector. Not a hoarder. I cannot downsize. I need it
all.  


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