Camels, Rhinos, and Turtles, Oh My!

Some of us are collectors.  I have a friend who collects cookie jars.  She has perhaps 400 lined up on top of her kitchen cabinets, on specially designed shelves and spread throughout her home.  She didn’t begin by thinking, “I’m going to collect cookie jars.” It just happened.  Friends, knowing her passion, give her cookie jars.  She hunts antique stores for special jars.  She bought a cookie jar on a trip to Kenya, another here in Rosarito.  Mostly she has antique jars.  She is a collector. I asked her how her cookie jar collection started.  The answer, “It just did. It just grew.”

I am a collector as well.  I have a collection of camels, rhinos, turtles.  Each one is somehow special.  One camel came from the North Shore of Minnesota, another a Christmas gift, a turtle from Jamaica, where we were married, another turtle a special love gift from my wife.  Each has its story.  I don’t seek them out.  The camels, rhinos, turtles somehow find me.  Walking by a store window one camel may catch my eye, saying, “I want to come and live with you.” Often they come as gifts too.  My wife never runs out of ideas for me on birthdays or Christmas.

But, now something has to give.  My collections have taken over.  We want to downsize.  We will sell and live full-time in Rosarito.  I find it easy to suggest things for my wife to discard, but difficult to even consider getting rid of my collectibles.  They are too good for a garage sale, worth far more than a measly buck or two people would be willing to pay for a camel.  I’ve considered Craig’s List.  Maybe someone will be searching for turtles or rhinos?

My friend with the cookie jars had planned to hand them down to her two daughters-in-law.  But, now the son whose wife loved the cookie jars is getting a divorce.  The other daughter-in-law has no interest in them.  I have no one to give my collections to.  I do have a very special niece, a surrogate daughter in many ways.  She, however, is a minimalist.

So, this leaves me with the dilemma of what to do with them.  At some point these collections will have to be put aside, will have to find new homes.  Putting them in storage is just silly and expensive. It has been suggested by a friend to take pictures of them   I’ll do that.

Will I miss them?  When I’m in Rosarito and the collection is back in Minnesota I rarely think about them at all.  And if I do, I can always open up my iPad’s photo gallery.

About Gerry Lidstrom

Gerry Lidstrom is a retired english teacher living most of the year in northern Baja California, and summers in Minnesota. He writes regularly for the Baja Review and keeps very busy with all the associations, clubs and activities in Rosarito. He wouldn't trade his ocean front condo for any place on earth, now. Who knows about the future. Watch for his travel articles.

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