Why Collect?

Not to mention...collect what?!  I have often wondered why I collect what I collect.  I guess it is very simple...I love it!  But probably more than loving the collection itself, I LOVE the hunt.  And that is the very reason I am loading up my family and heading south next week for the Longest Yard Sale ever!  This will be my first year attempting this excursion, so I am quite excited about what I will find and who I will meet along the way.  I'm not after a trailer full of furniture, or a load of precious antiques.  I am in search of the HUNT.  I realize that doesn't make much sense, but to me and others as addicted to hunting as myself, it makes perfect sense!  I don't always know what I am looking for, but I certainly know when I find it.  So back to collecting...
Old wood levels.  Weird?  Maybe!  I think this collection takes me back to my childhood.  Not because my dad used them, but because it reminds me of craftsmanship and doing it yourself.  I wish I could remember which of my levels came first, but I have lost track at this point.  I do know that the first one I found was in a booth in my store.  I bought it for a friend because his name was on it. 
A week later, another came in and I was very drawn to it.  Now I have several, or should I say many!  I grabbed one in Elk Rapids, MI, with my husband on our yearly trek to Traverse City.  I found another on a trip through Ohio, and several from the booths in my stores.  I prefer the old, unpainted ones with the glass still intact, but I think my favorite is pictured above.  It is a very old metal level with a beautiful, scrolling pattern.  It seems more like a piece of art, rather than a tool.  Do I have enough?  I don't think so, but my husband probably does!
Old wood folding rulers.  Or should I call them tape measures?  These seem to be a dime a dozen, but I love them anyway!  I make stars out of them or just stack them on a shelf.  I will say, my kids seem to like them more than I do!  They love to open them up, make shapes and hang them around the house.  We even put one on top of the Christmas tree last year!  The downfall...they are worse than a mouse trap!  Watch your fingers if you decide to collect these treasures.
Suitcases!  My dad thinks I have my husband's stuff packed and ready to go at any moment, but it is really just my suitcase collection, which actually started on accident.  I was on a shopping trip for a client one day at Plain Jane's in Mattawan, MI (she's in Paw Paw, MI now).  Jane had a stack of old suitcase that I was just not leaving there without!  At the time I thought they might go in my client's home somewhere, but the more and more I stared at them in my rear view mirror in my car, the more and more they became mine. 
Now they adorn the tops of my bookcases, next to furniture and even in my kitchen!  No, my husband's belongings are not in the suitcases, but I do use them to store memorabilia, like clay figurines that all my children have made throughout their grade school years, and all the items we collected at Disney last year.
So now it is time to tell you about my clock collection.  Anyone who knows me, knows I have a clock problem.  My family thinks it is amusing to find the place in our home where you can stand and see the most clocks. The record is 6.  If that's not a problem, I don't know what is!  But don't get the wrong picture in your head.  I don't have clocks on every square inch of my walls.  And I don't collect just any clock, either.  Some are vintage and plug in, some are metal, while others are glass.  And to tell you the truth, I'm never LOOKING for a clock, the clock always finds me!
One last collection, but trust me there are more, is our family driftwood collection.  I bought a large glass jar one day with no purpose in mind for it at all...until an impromptu trip to Holland Tunnel Beach happened.  My family and I brought back a small piece of driftwood and it was ceremonially placed in the large glass jar.  And with that, brought the adventure of finding the perfect piece of driftwood to add to the jar from each and every beach we visit.  So this collection, in my opinion, isn't just a collection, it is a memory-maker.  To date, the piece of driftwood that traveled the furthest to the jar came from Coco Beach, FL!
So I answered the question about what to collect...whatever you are drawn to or love!  But I didn't answer the question of WHY to collect.  I find that to be simple, as well.  I think my husband said it best when he said, "Our house tells a story".  Each level, each tape measure and each suitcase has a story and a memory attached to it.  It reminds me of a trip, a beach or a super cool shop off the beaten path.  So if you, too, are heading down 127 next week, make sure you leave me a note on that old level you pass up.  I'll be sure to add you to my story that makes my house a home.

This is from Kalamazoo...to you!


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