Ha! Gotcha... this headline is fake news but now that I think of it... I'm pretty sure I could validate this in several ways with an internet study of the accumulation of stuff.
First, let me quantify what stuff really is and where it comes from. We were born, as grandma said, “Naked as a jay bird.” I'm not sure what this means but it has to be true because grandma said it. We were born with nothing. Diapers were added very soon, along with blankets and caps and sweaters and soakers and all sorts of other stuff that was deemed necessary for our survival.
Looking back, our needs were fairly simple. But they were not as basic when compared to the generation of kids before us. On and on, it seems our society has complicated reproduction and its results with so many requirements that it can be mind-numbing. One thing holds true... each of us has one memory of early childhood... one piece, one photo, one toy, one memory and maybe more. This is where we begin to collect stuff and we don't even know it.
People in my family actually collected stuff for me but I didn't know. You can imagine how I felt when my Grandmother died and a whole lot of stuff was left for me to deal with. I quickly sent out a call for all other relatives so I could share the wealth of these memories. Family history has no place in one set of hands. It's way too limiting. Yes, it qualifies as being stuff but is a lot more important. Family Bibles head the list... everything else comes second.
Moving right along, we take what we have and most of us get married at some point. This simple act means that you automatically are joined, not only in life, but in stuff. What may have seemed manageable in your home will become cluttered as the years go by. Why? People die and leave things to family members. They do this out of love. I believe some do it out of spite... either way, your state of wedded bliss will be burdened by family stuff as the years go by.
Now, to the heart of the matter. When I met Mr. S I knew he loved otters. Though born a Capricorn, he was one in spirit with otters. Come to think of it... they are a lot like goats. Nevermind. At the time the connection made perfect sense because of love. I sent out the Otter word. It was a miracle. Not only did we start buying and collecting otters of all shapes and sizes... but so did our friends and family members. Within ten years of our marriage date we were surrounded by otters. I leave the rest to you to understand.
Finally, I had to start shifting them in our décor. The translation of this is that we had enough otters to fill a museum in a house which was something less than 1,150 sq. ft. Otters... we were bursting at the seams. At some point I began to think that they had some kind of magical power over our lives. Then I made the mistake of making too much fuss over having basset hounds.
End of otter phase. Beginning of basset hound craze. Apparently, I had not learned a danged thing during the otter stuff part of our life. I went headlong into basset hound. Do you know that there is a basset hound cookie jar? I do. I have one... thanks to our loving daughter Pam. She grew up with the bassets and loved them as much as her mother. It is remarkable that Mr. S allowed us to indulge our love of these droopy-eyed, dufus, lovable piles of shedding hair. He did allow them... and love them, for more than 29 years of our marriage.
Is this the end of our stuff? Nope. I love hummingbirds and we have a mini-collection of art which represents them. We also harbor a collectible lot of antiques in many forms. Of late, those are cast iron. The funny thing is that our stuff is not worth anything. It is worth what we think it is. It is worth our appreciation and love. It is worth our admiration.
This barnyard mix of collectibles bring us great joy. These pieces seem to blend together in a way which makes us happy in this house and protected from the rest of the world.
Our stuff is part of what life is made of. Now all we have to do is pass it along. :) If you need an otter... just call me.
*Thanks to Terry Hendrickson... an expert in “stuff.”