Mr M and I go to many estate sales. This is one of our favorite things to do. It’s the thrill of the hunt. We purchase items for the shop, but we also purchase items for ourselves. We even sometimes say we are purchasing something you say you want to sell (ahem, Mr. M), but that you are asking more than any sane (non collecting) person is willing to pay. Then, you are sad when someone loves it as much as you do and buys it despite the high price (this does not describe me, in case you were wondering). Sorry, I got off on a tangent, but back to the subject of this post.
I love estate sales, but they also make me sad. I love purchasing that vintage item I’ve been wanting and looking for, but haven’t found it at just the right price until now. I love looking through cookbooks to find the type that I like and seeing what this former cook loved to prepare for her family and friends. I love finding a vintage accessory – a hat, purse, scarf, or belt, that will fit in with my wardrobe or be passed on to another person who loves vintage as much as I do. I just love seeing how other people live – the furniture they sat on, the art they looked at every day, the dishes and flatware they ate from – I love it all! So, why am I sad? I am sad because I know that the former occupants either passed away or had to move because they were no longer able to care for themselves. Rarely does someone sell the contents of their house just to start over (although I do consider it sometimes, LOL). I am extremely sad when I see a couple’s wedding photo which shows how happy they were in their black tux and long white gown with the pretty white veil being sold. Did they not have children? Did their children pass away before they did? Were they estranged from all of their family and friends? Did their children arrange this estate sale from far away and don’t realize that part of their family’s legacy will go to someone willing to pay the asking price? This brings me back to the original question – Why am I not a hoarder? Because I have seen what happens to all that stuff we accumulate when we move on for whatever reason. When Mr. M and I talk to our children about all of our “treasures”, there are very few items that they are interested in even when we tell them the wonderful story of how we came to acquire this item. I guess the feelings we attach to an item are not felt by our children. I know that when our time comes, some of our most precious items will be sold to someone who won’t know the history of the piece (or even worse, won’t care).
This is why I am not a hoarder – it is too sad to know that items you loved for years are not appreciated by others and because I want to ensure that our children won’t have to deal with more than their share of our “stuff” when the time comes.
So, does that mean you shouldn’t have things you love? You should absolutely have things you love – just decide what you love and stick to it! After all, we collect things because it makes us happy. Mr. M has the most wonderful insulator collection. I too have started a collection which I hope will be passed down when I am gone – an English Christmas village. Why English? Because I love visiting England and we Americans have to admit that we don’t have many things that extend beyond the last 400 years. In England, something 400 years old is almost considered new.
So, find something you love to collect and treasure it. Who knows – maybe someone in your family will love it as much as you do!
I hope I made your life more lovely today,