I tend to be the type of person who goes overboard on almost everything. If I become even slightly interested in something, it soon snowballs into something that consumes my life. It usually comes in waves and soon passes. For example, several years ago, I became fascinated with serial killers. I watched every possible video on YouTube I could find and soon fancied myself an expert. A few months ago in New Orleans, Ken and I went into a museum called the Museum of Death. He was more than a little alarmed when we came to the serial killer display and I knew about most of them without even reading the displays.

On a rare occasion, one of these temporary obsessions will blossom into a full-blown hobby. One of my hobbies is collecting dishes and silver. I’m by no means talking about priceless antiques or rarities. I probably would if I could afford it, but for right now, it’s just collecting things I like or preserving items that are of sentimental value. Some may call me a hoarder. Perhaps they’re right. But for the time being, I’ll loosely call myself a collector.

I refer to one of my favorite sets of dishes simply as the “chicken dishes.” If you’ve been to enough antique stores, I’m sure you’ve seen them. They’re yellow with, you guessed it, chickens on them. They’re quite easy to come by.   I was fortunate enough to attain by mine by chance. About ten years ago, my parents bought a farm that had a farmhouse on it. The house, though in a state of minor disrepair, had some treasures left behind by the previous owner. The daughters who had inherited the property showed no interest in its contents. They were content just to let their mother’s possessions rot inside the house and to sell the house full of her memories. It was there that I found the “chicken dishes.” It was almost a complete set and I was overjoyed. Over the years, I’ve picked up a few pieces here and there and now have a complete set!

As I mentioned, I have a few pieces of silver. If you’re planning a robbery, you may want to think again. The crow bar to break into the house and the bail money to get out of jail may well cost you more than any loot to be found. Rather, I pick up silver plated pieces at antique stores, give them a polish, and before long, I have a shiny new teapot or candlestick. Sometimes, I think the silver polish may cost more, but at least I’m entertained in a rather cheap fashion.

I have one item that I consider to be something of a family heirloom. It’s a small budvase that my great uncle brought as a gift to my grandmother. He got it when he was in Japan during World War II. It’s very special to me and something I’ll always treasure.

Perhaps one day, my collection will grow until it becomes burdensome to curate. Perhaps it will be filled with priceless items from around the world. Who knows, one day, I may even have some pieces worth insuring. But if not, that’s ok. For now, I’ll stick to picking up new pieces here and there and preserving the fond memories of the ones I have.

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