I’m a collector. I collect stuff. Weird things not many other people would collect. Like cats. Well, they’re not really a collection; they’re just company that (on some days) has long overstayed their welcome. I decided once to start collecting stamps. I took it somewhat seriously for a few years and have a haphazard, totally worthless collection. There are too many rules for stamp collecting. I don’t want to do anything that’s going to tax my brain that much.
Then came the coin collection. I have a bunch of pennies, nickels, and worthless dimes, if you ever need any. I do have all the state quarters. I signed up for a subscription where they automatically sent them to me once a year when they were released. They’ve turned strange colors because coin collecting is too hard. I thought I hit pay dirt one time when I found a really cool dime. Turned out it was worth eleven cents. Did I mention that coin collecting was hard? Another brain bender.
In my younger days, I decided the ideal thing to collect was business cards. I had hundreds of them, all properly displayed in a scrap book with those little triangles you use to mount pictures. Do you know that after years all the little triangles will fall off the pages? No way was I going to glue the cards to the pages—that would devalue them. I figured one day the business card of the guy who worked on my car might be worth something. Since that guy wasn’t Mel Gibson, it never did become valuable. My collection went into the trash.
I have CHRISTmas bears all over the house. Even when it’s not CHRISTmas, they’re displayed on the top of bookshelves, or in some cases sitting on the floor. That happens on a fairly regular basis. The kitty babies like to be up high and a bear on top of the shelf just gets in their way, so they toss it off. There’s a rule for the bears. They must have the date stamped on their feet. No, not the date the cat pushed them to the floor, the date they came out for CHRISTmas. One year, Ed got me what some people would consider the definitive bear. Brown and fluffy with a red scarf around his neck. He doesn’t have the date on his foot, but it is on his scarf, so that’s close enough.
There’s one little, tiny problem with the bear. He’s about the size of an armchair. Maybe a love seat or small sofa. Finding a place to put the bear is a real challenge. He’s been in several different locations in the house but eventually ends up being moved. Normally because I’ve tripped over him. Where he is now is the ideal location—in our bedroom. In the corner where I don’t normally walk so we’re both safe. Ed at times is given to excess on this bear thing. And on bunnies.
I must have an Easter bunny every year. No date requirement on the bunny, just on the bear. Both of the men I married knew the rules and obliged. Since neither of them could remember what was actually said during the wedding ceremony, I was able to convince them it was part of the vows. It really isn’t a lie if you’re just thinking it, is it? After Bruce died, I asked my mom who was going to buy me a bunny at Easter. She told me I had too many and didn’t need any more. Since the house rules are bunnies at Easter, that seemed kind of cruel. Husband and bunny gone in one fell swoop.
And just so you won’t think my mom was totally heartless, the next year I got a bunny at Easter. Cutest little thing you ever saw. He wears a hat with holes cut in it for his ears and he’s asleep in a hammock. Two suction cups hold him in place on the wall. When she gave the rabbit to me, I reminded her that she had said I had too many and I wasn’t getting any more. Her reply was, “Well, one more can’t hurt.” Moms are great, aren’t they?
So, parts of our house are overwhelmed with stuffed animals. And because Ed sometimes believes that bigger is better, some of them are enormous. They’re handy for kids and cats who need a comfortable place to sit. Other than that, like the stamps, coins, and business cards, they serve no useful purpose.
Neither does my Precious Moments collection. Well, they do make me smile, so that’s a good thing. I can pick up one and have an instant rush of some memory. So, like my kitchen collection of every gadget known to man, they’re a good thing to have around. If for no other reason than the memories. The ideal gift would probably be a Precious Moments crock pot, blender, mixer, or potato peeler. That way I’d save some room in the house by killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. Or would that be cooking two birds with one stone?
My favorite collection of all the things I own is my lion and lamb collection. I started collecting them about forty years ago; well before everyone got on the lion/lamb bandwagon. I have so many of them that I now limit what I collect. I can only do the unique or we’re going to have to add on a basement. And because Ed is driven to excess in this area, also, some of them are quite large. One is supposed to be outside, a garden statue. But it’s under the piano bench where I can’t trip over it. It’s too pretty to put outside.
Most people have given up on buying them for me. Ed knows what I have so he’s safe, but even he forgets sometimes. I bought a beautiful three-piece one that looks like stained glass windows. That’s one of my favorite ones. Ed loved it so much he bought me a second one. Okay, that’s a stretch. He loved it, but he forgot I already had it. So I have one in the library and one in the bedroom. Genny bought me the same one. I had it at work where I could enjoy it. One can’t have too many lion and lamb things. That’s the first time Genny duplicated. She and Miss Vickie are masters at finding ones I don’t already have.
I think the main reason I like my lion and lamb collection so much is because of the message it portrays. The exact words in the Bible aren’t lion and lamb but the symbolism is the same. The words are wolf with the lamb and lion with the calf. I’m glad whoever decided to combine the two put the lion with the lamb. Lions are so much cuter than wolves. Lions are just big, overgrown, not litter-trained cats. With big teeth and claws.
A lot of times, when you see the lion and lamb together on something, the word “peace” is on there, too. That pretty much symbolizes the lion/lamb concept. If a lion and a lamb can get along together, then there must be hope for the rest of us. If you watch the nightly news, then you know that people getting along isn’t happening. At least according to the news.
In my cul-de-sac and in my previous church was every possible nationality except maybe Lithuanian, but there might be someone of that nationality there, also. We all get along. Except I did have problems with one lady at church who always wore a hat. I always tried to sit two rows behind her. She looked wonderful and they were nice hats, but they blocked my view of the pastor. And the choir. And the whole front of the church. Beautiful hat…way too big!
So why does the news say we don’t get along? That America is divided. I suppose that would be more of a story than people getting along but, in my opinion, it’s creating a false impression of what’s really going on. I don’t think we’re being given enough credit for actually loving each other. I know there are pockets of idiots running around who don’t like each other but I don’t think it’s as wide-spread as they try to make it out.
One of my personal heroes is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His “I have a dream” speech is especially appealing because what he wanted was what God had in mind all along. Lions, wolves, lambs, calves, and people all getting along. Were it not for that stupid serpent, Dr. King’s dream would have been a reality all along. In spite of the nightly news.