The Collectors

By Gipp Forster

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I have travelled my three score and 10 years plus and, all in all, life has been very good to me. My dog no longer growls at me when I come in the door. My grown kids listen to my advice. They don’t follow it, but they listen to it. Every now and then, my grandchildren recognize me and ask what I’m doing here. And even though I started with nothing, I still have most of it!

My wife thinks I’m wonderful. It was only yesterday when I had mentioned one of my accomplishments that she said to me; “Aren’t you Mr. Wonderful!” I don’t need a pacemaker yet, but I still try to keep pace with my maker. My knees may buckle while my belt won’t, but that’s why scooters and liposuction were created!

No matter what happens, I try to keep a positive outlook by saying: “Don’t give up! All is not lost!” Then my wife asks, “If all is not lost, what have I done with it?” I’m not always sure she understands me.

Because of certain ailments, I can no longer cut the grass, but I can still smell it after another cuts it or after a spring rain. Yes sir, all in all, life has been pretty good to me.

My wife and I have many earthly treasures, but when we’re gone, they’ll probably just be junk to someone else. Not all, but some. But it’s been fun collecting them. Wine glasses, three or four sets of dishes. We have figurines, Rockwell plates, old *Reader’s Digests* dating back to the early ’40s, old books, coins, CDs, DVDs and a massive Christmas collection. Add to that, 12 empty tubes of Bengay, but I’m not sure that’s part of a collection. We have all of Kahil Gibran’s books, some Norman Rockwell books, an Andy Capp collection, a Calvin and Hobbs collection and the list goes on! We even have a collection of *Senior Living* magazines! My wife says she likes to keep track of the Ask Goldie column, in case I should ever write in. She says she would recognize it if it was me. I don’t write letters much anymore, so I guess she or Goldie won’t have worry. In fact, I don’t write too much of anything anymore, other than my column and one love poem a year to my wife on her birthday. Now and then, she sends a love poem to me. I think we’re getting closer; she no longer begins it with: “To whom it may concern” but actually uses my name!

But our most valuable collection is years. Between the two of us, we have over 140 of them! Not all together, of course, but those that we have spent together are golden and priceless. They’re woven of many things: Tears and laughter, joy and sorrow, seriousness and humour, gain and loss, regret and reward; all the things that make two lives one, and cause us to go on despite the circumstances. We’ll bring that collection with us when we leave this tired old earth. Not much good to anyone else, I guess, but precious to the collectors.

No sir, I guess I won’t complain about the cards life has dealt me. Times and circumstances may not always have been happy, but at no time were they ever dull. Tomorrow is another day, and if I’m here to experience it, I’m going to greet it with a smile! I’m going to run in its valleys and rest by its springs. If the good Lord decides to create a new day for me, then I’m going to rejoice and be glad in it. I’m going to be contemplative and still. My wife just raised her glass of orange juice and said: “Hear, Hear!” Then she got up and left the room. I wonder if it is because I said: “Where? Where?”

Life is good, but it sure can be confusing at times.



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