Collecting small things with big memories

Friday, April 23, 2010

I collect things that don't take up a lot of room. I collect quotes. I keep them in a yellow notebook. Hundreds of them. Obscure ones, famous ones, Biblical ones. They are all lined up, neatly penned in in black ink and tiny script. I often find that the best thoughts are already spoken. A few sentences can inspire a day or refresh a dim outlook.

I collect postcards. I have nearly 300 of them. But they all fit in a tiny box. They are the cheapest souvenirs, but the ones that mean the most are the ones that people have sent. I have one dated March 15, 1991. It's from San Francisco and written by my late aunt in perfect handwriting that matches my mother's. She tells me that she hopes my ear infection will go away soon. I have a dozen postcards from my best friend who lives in Scotland. I postcards from almost every continent sent to me by my grandparents, the world travelers that they are. I know where every one comes from and the stories behind them.

I collect letters. Very similar to postcards, but more conversational. My dear friend Wesley and I have been writing letters back and forth for years now. Every time I open my mailbox and find her joys, prayers and wisdom I feel blessed and happy. I enjoy taking time out of my day to write to her and share my thoughts. I love the intention of letters, the time put into them. 44 cents is a small price for handwritten prose. What is more fun than a letter?

I suppose I have a few other collections, now that I think about it. I collect (not professionally) stamps and coins. It's something special that I share with my paternal grandfather. The stamps tie into my apparent love for mail and the postal service. I collect stickers and stationary. But those two things are collections that I give away. I like to send stationary that I find unique or fine. I love envelopes with a surprise lining of fun paper or a card that just makes you happy the moment you look at it.

I suppose you could analyze these things that make me happy and come up with all sorts of answers. The simple fact is that they make me smile. They connect me with the people I love in strong ways. That's the only reason I need.

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