Cumberland Times-News

Maude McDaniel - Living

December 3, 2011

Hobbies are often other people’s ideas

 

Sometimes collections just happen.
Those are the ones that owe their existence to the kindness of others.
Quite often, people don’t choose to collect things. Who would decide deliberately, for instance, to gather a lifetime collection of photographs of, say, old outhouses? Or who would on purpose start out saying, “ I think I will collect — old dust cloths” Or “hey, rubber bands!” Yet, I know people who collect those kinds of things, through no choice of their own. Somebody gave them a pretty dustcloth, or a distinctive rubber band — and they hung on to it, and showed it to visitors as a curiosity, and that was that. Friends took over.
I lie. I do not know anyone who collects dustcloths or rubber bands. (I do believe there is, somewhere in my past, someone who collected photos of old outhouses, but I couldn’t tell you his name. Nor would I if I could.) But this column does dreadful things to me. I was desperate for examples, and, let this be one to you — I ended up telling lies. I apologize.
My point however was that so often collectors collect the things they collect not so much because they make a single rational decision to collect these things (”From now on, I plan to collect 16th-century ceremonial halberds”), but because other people choose to remember some distant spur-of-the-moment, unconsidered remark you made once in their presence. Like “Oh, isn’t that an attractive 16th century halberd?”
In other words, our collections are often unmotivated, growing more out of other people’s desperation, (”What in the world can I get her for Christmas?”), than out of some deep-rooted love for spittoons or fishing lures. Sometimes a mahjong tile seems to be the only thing that fills your need to find something to give to someone — but that can be the start of an illustrious collection.

Text Only
Maude McDaniel - Living
  • Rusty writes about the nature of doghood

    I am a dog.
    Therefore I bark.
    I don’t understand why it is so hard for humans to understand this.
    I mean, there are certain things that come with the territory, right?

    April 5, 2014

  • Free-range reminiscing and occasional nostalgia

    When I was in grade school, (many more years ago than when either of you were in grade school) my daily winter (fall, spring) routine included walking to school across a railroad track.

    March 22, 2014

  • Beatles return us to what might have been

    Here’s a a free gift from Goldy (to your left), and it should get us going with a good laugh, that both my readers will approve of. Then, after that (fair warning) I am going to turn a little sour.

    March 8, 2014

  • What’s missing in TV cooking shows? Lots

    As if badmouthing cupcakes isn’t bad enough — I have to go on and say this: I think the plates of food that are winning so many of the prizes on the Food Channel are well — boring.

    February 22, 2014

  • Only one person doesn’t like cupcakes

    Cupcake-wise, the last four or five years have ballooned into a huge plus for almost any bakery that attempts them. (Not to mention the ballooning of many of the individuals involved.) You could call cupcakes the up-cakes of our time. Well, you could, but I guess only I would, and even then only in a column on a very good day, when everything else was go!

    February 8, 2014

  • Some of us are ‘privy’ to certain information

    Outhouses used to be an object of fascination for me. (and in fact I wrote a column about them in 2007. Since we have all forgotten that, I decided to write another one this week.

    January 25, 2014

  • Just the right thing for very cold weather

    Beginning the new year with a tasty recipe always seemed like a good idea to me. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it should be a healthy recipe, and I’m a little short of those. It turns out that the period I learned to cook in (the 40s and 50s) was not noted for its general nutritional values. Although, of course, we thought we were pretty much on course there. Later, the next generation informed us that we were way off track and what did we mean by raising them in such unwholesome habits. (Foodwise, I mean. They arrived at certain other unwholesome habits on their own.)

    January 12, 2014

  • Who thinks these things up, anyway?

    Here are some of the best jokes (of the email world) in 2013. Have a Happy New Year, as I plan to!

    December 28, 2013

  • How do we compare with rest of the U.S.?

    I recently purchased “The World Almanac 2014,” reviewing events of this year, energy, government, science and technology, past and present celebrities, U.S. and world history, nations of the world and sports.

    December 14, 2013

  • Old houses and furnaces and a different world

    Nine houses and four dorms. That’s how many places I have lived in my lifetime, and I remember each of them, well, not vividly but with great fondness. Not a one of them was a bad experience, in fact, good things happened at each place. (Bad things too, but that’s life.)

    November 30, 2013

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads