The Feb 25, 2006, edition of the Wall Street Journal, had an article called “Who’s Going to Want Grandma’s Hoard of Antique Gnomes?” Well, apparently none of grandma’s grandchildren will, according to the article. So we asked Hammockfolk what was taking up room in their attic and if they had any plans for it?
Lena: When I was younger, I used to collect trolls. I have about 100. Any takers?
Bill: Since we already have pretty much all our folks’ stuff, it’s up to us to sell them on eBay. Collections – broadly defined as things we have a fair number of – include crosscut saws, plow horse harnesses, various kinds of glassware, canning jars, aprons, and rubber ducks. My goal is to have it all labeled before I die.
Megan: Lately it seems that I am collecting Macintosh computers and stray cats (the latter is not so much by choice).
Julia: I collect old glass items. When I was in high school, my best friend’s mother sparked my interest in Depression Glass and I purchased quite a few pieces. They are all pale green, in the Princess pattern, made by the Hocking Glass Company from 1931 to 1935. I also inherited two Carnival Glass vases and two Cobalt Blue glass vases that were my grandmother’s and great grandmother’s. One of the Cobalt Blue vases is my oldest piece. When my grandmother was a young girl, she remembered her mother having it. My grandmother was born in 1888.
None of it is very valuable, but I really love it all. It looks beautiful in my lighted bookcases and the inherited pieces are priceless to me. My daughter is sentimental and may well keep a few pieces, but I imagine some of it may end up on Ebay someday.
Shannon: I collect manger scenes, smaller ones mostly which I display only at Christmas. My favorites are a wool one from Brazil, a hand-carved wooden one from Zimbabwe, and one where different dog breeds represent those present at the manger (black lab is Joseph, yellow lab is Mary, German Shepherd is an angel, etc).
A weird coincidence is that my mother-in-law collects them too. We both started our collections long before we met. Since she has three boys who could care less about Christmas decorations, guess I’ll be inheriting her manger scenes.
Patrick R: I collect fountain pens. That’s it, just pens. Lorraine collects stamps. Our family members don’t collect anything as far was we know.
My grandmother did have a small collection of beanie babies before she died. One year she was convinced that someone had broken into her home and had taken them, sometime around Thanksgiving. She even had the police come by and filled out a report. She was living in Indianapolis, and we were in Tennessee so my folks were kind of worried but were also a bit incredulous. She was well know for her absent mindedness. We visited her for Christmas as we had done every year since relocating to Gallatin. Dad handed her a package that none of us recognized which she opened with excitement. She didn’t recognize it either. Lo and behold, when she removed the paper and opened the box, 4 little beanie babies were looking up at her. That burglar had broken back into her apartment and put the beanies in a gift box under her tree!
John: Not a collector. Used to collect baseball cards.
Allison: About 10 years ago, I started collecting antique French Limoges plates, the really old, truly authentic ones. Didn’t get very far as most are expensive. I have 4, so that probably doesn’t qualify as a “collection”. My great grandfather was friends with Artus Van Briggle, an artist who did a lot of pottery and ceramics. He had many of his original works, which then went to my grandfather, and are now with my father. I am looking forward to receiving these pieces, as they are really nice and most would carry a pretty hefty price tag.
My mother collects chicken and rooster themed items. I’m not looking forward to receiving any of that. I see a yard sale in the distant future.
Summer: My current favorite thing to collect is etiquette books. I have about 14 books in my collection right now, the oldest of which was published in 1884. It’s great to read back and see how much things have changed. And as you might guess, they books on proper etiquette have gotten thinner through the years.
Cole and I also collect coins. This is something my grandafther got me interested in when I was young. He’d have me keeping my eyes open for, say, a 1955 nickel minted in Denver, and as soon as one of us would find it, he’d give me another assignment.
Natalie: When my in-laws die, the amount of collectibles they have is too overwhelming to explain. I’m not sure they even know what they have hoarded at their home over the past 30 years. Then the glass shop has junk from when Jason’s great-great-grandfather owned it. It ranges from sports collectibles to fishing lures, dolls, antiques, duck decoys, photos, tools. You name it they have it. They are the world’s best hoarders. As a result, I’ve forbidden Jason to collect anything.
Emily: Anytime someone brings me flowers, I dry them and put them in vases. So I guess you could say that I collect dead flowers. I also collect postcards, strawberry-themed stuff for my kitchen and beach-themed stuff for my bathroom. My mom collects angel figurines, and my grandmother collects hummingbird stuff.
Laura: I collect the Metropolitan Museum’s sterling silver snowflake ornaments. I have 14 of them, going back to 1992. I recently discovered the series started the year I was born, so I’ve set up an eBay search to help me find older ones. Of course, the older ones are even more expensive!
I’m not sure if you would call this “collecting” since there’s no defined parameters for a set, but I have about 80 cookbooks and am always on the lookout for more. I actually use individual books throughout the collection fairly frequently.
That’s pretty much it. When you say “collection,” I hear, “something that needs dusting.”
Jamie: I collect fireman Christmas ornaments.
Not a surprise for those who know me.
Barbara: I tried collecting stuff (bird figurines, bird Christmas ornaments or pennies) in the past, but I lost interest. I still have my vinyl LPs. I also have a few pieces of golden oak furniture from the turn of the last century. Over the past few years, Ive become a minimalist. When you get older, stuff just doesnt seem to matter, especially when you have to clean out a dead parents house. My mom never threw anything away, and she had about a six months supply of toilet paper, cereal, canned goods, etc., always on hand. Shes been dead 2 1/2 years, and we just used the last light bulb from her stash.