I admit to having had many collections over the years. My first foray into collecting was with my father. He was a coin and stamp collector having started his collections in High School. He decided that I and my two sisters would collect stamps. I selected stamps with an animal theme. I suspect it was just a ploy to get my mother to allow more stamps in the house. He taught us how to mount them and how to tell the difference between a cancelled stamp and a new one. He taught us how to steam the stamp off the envelope. When I went away to college, he took over my stamp collection. However by that time I had started my very own collection of banks. I had china banks, piggy banks, glass and metal banks. I collected them for years. I eventually stopped after my sons were born. I pared the numbers down and kept only a hand full of my cast iron banks. At one point I started a collection of wicker baskets shaped like animals. When they overflowed the top of the entertainment center and I had them scattered all over the family room, I decided I had enough. I sold many of them and now only have 3 left that are stored in the basement… However I’ve had one collection that I started in earnest when I graduated from college.
You see I had always been fascinated by a couple of serving dishes that my mother had. They were wedding gifts. She rarely used them but I loved the way they looked. She had a hammered aluminum bread tray and a covered casserole along with a set of candlestick holders. They had a tulip embossed on the lid or the tray. I couldn’t think of anything prettier. She sold the candlestick holders at a garage sale when I was maybe 12. I’m still looking for ones like them. I bought all my pieces at garage sales for cheap. The most I’d spent (until last year) was $3. Even so I think I have nearly 500 pieces. Now the fun thing is that I use them all the time. My everyday butter dish is hammered aluminum. All my spoon rests, canister set, and napkin holders and even the dish where I keep my medication is hammered aluminum. I use the trays and bowls whenever I can – to serve meals, for picnics and potlucks, for celebrations (like Thanksgiving). I even use them to decorate my kitchen. Because they aren’t just sitting around with no purpose Sparky doesn’t mind that I’ve got so many. Of course I do have a few favorites – I love the Chrysanthemum pattern and the Tulip pattern too. I have a few pieces with Raspberries. I even have one that has oak leaves and acorns on it that belonged to my grandmother. I know this because she wrote her name in pencil on the back (probably to make sure she got it back after a church function) and no amount of scrubbing will remove the pencil! Anyway I don’t have any daughters to pass it down to but son#2 once showed a young lady my collection and said, “One day this will all be mine.” I’m not sure if he was trying to impress her or what but it made me smile thinking that he wanted my collection!