to you it's just a gum wrapper

The spring I turned ten I started collecting stuff. Some stuff was given to me. Some stuff I thought was cool and other stuff I thought I might use someday.  For instance, I had what was once the wooden handle of a hammer. The broken end could be sharpen to a point and used to kill vampires in the event of an attack.  In a pinch you could use it to stab a werewolf in the foot, at least that would give you time to get away (I was still on the lookout for a silver bullet.) 

 When mid-summer rolled around, I had almost two shoe boxes full of stuff. Gum wrappers, feathers, sticks, seriously misspelled notes, rocks, and do dads of all kinds. After a morning of playing with my friends, I headed home to empty my pockets to make room for what the afternoon might bring. I went straight to my room, bent down next to my bed, extended my arm under to get one of the boxes. I felt nothing... so I take a look....  my shoe boxes are gone! gone. gone. gone. As in nothing under the bed. No boxes. No dust. Not the lone sock I had my eye on ( the mate was in my drawer/pairs of socks were like gold in our house) I'd been robbed.

 I raced downstairs to my mom, she was sitting at the kitchen table smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee. I was crying hysterically... some--one---my shoe---bo--xes are GON--NE...she took me by the shoulders and firmly said "I cleaned your room and threw out all the boxes, who keeps gum wrappers and sticks?" My eyes widened in shock , I threw myself to the floor and began to scream. I do! I keep gum wrappers and sticks! How could you? Do have any idea what it takes to get a shoe box? We don't buy shoes in boxes!!!!  That's when it hit her. She sat on the floor next to me, put her arms around me and with tears in her eyes said "I'm so sorry I didn't realize what those things meant to you." She calmed me down and assured me I could start a new collection (and she would never ever touch my stuff again) she would even go with me to get more shoe boxes. Two important lessons were learned that day. 

* One: One girls trash might be her treasure. Who are you to judge? 

* Two:  Love means you say you're sorry. Then you dig for shoe boxes from the trash behind Nickels Department Store.

 Collections Rule


  1. Very cool collections! Should I go check behind Nickels?? This is Christi Copeland, by the way, and I am your newest follower thanks to Pam McClellan! :)

  2. That is such a sweet story. Great pictures. I love collections but at the same time, fear clutter.


  3. Jane,

    This is such a great post. Having had 8 other siblings, no privacy (not even in my underwear drawer where I hid my most precious things), always having to track down a pair of socks, a comb, (which by the way was the cause of many fights with my sister who use to steal the one I would find and hide in my underwear drawer) struck a cord with me.

    I never had a pair of shoes that came in a box either so having a shoe box was in and of itself a prize!!

    I love the collections. Numbers 2 and 4 are my favorite.

    Hope all is well!


  4. What a wonderful story! I can relate to this post! When I was young, I collect a lot of things too, feathers are one of them. I remembered putting them in between my book and I would put powder in it so the feathers can have "babies". It really works, try it! But one day, my father found out about my feathers and threw it out. It was raining that day and my feathers were ruined. I was so sad and cried because as a child, I don't have any toys and my collections of random stuff are the only things that make me happy.

    Anyway, love your collection of images especially the last one with the globes.


  5. Cristie without the hAugust 6, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    This is too damn funny! Laughing hysterically. But in a way she was right. Hang it on the wall if you love it so much. I just love stuff. But I like to look at it daily. Love your post, drama ensues.


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