Whitesburg KY
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‘Grandma, can I buy some back?’



A couple of months ago, I was in a thrift store that gave all of its money to a worthwhile charity. A woman came in with a little boy, about 10 years old, and he was carrying a boxful of small toys. It looked like he had played with these toys a lot. He carefully ran his hand through them, picking up some and looking intently at them.

Grandma was talking to the clerk. He said, “Put them right over there, and I’ll go through them and put them on the right shelves.”

The little boy looked into the box again, then said in a voice that sounded like he was going to cry, “Grandma? Can I buy some back?”

She looked at him for a few moments and said, “Which ones, honey?” He turned to her and said, “All of them.”

Aren’t we all this way? We want to keep what we’ve got even though we don’t really need it. I’ve got a five-gallon can in my storage room full of electrical outlets, screws, bolts, nuts, and a couple of mousetraps.

Every time I clean out the room, I set them over in a new place for a while. I don’t dare throw them away, because I might need some of them sometime.

The can is a little rusty, but it still holds my treasures. They have only been in that storage room for 28 years.

I’ve got two boats, one in the back yard, and one in the storage room. I have no idea why I bought that second boat. I live one mile from Lake Cumberland. Every year I pay personal property taxes on my boats, and get a new sticker to go on the side of them. I put the stickers up on the shelf every year.

One boat hasn’t been in the lake in about five years, and the other one has never been in the lake. I don’t even know if the electric motors still work, and I’m sure the batteries are run down.

But I’m going to keep them. I might go fishing in them one day.

I’ve got two computers, and I use them both every day. One doesn’t have a modem, so I use it just for my writings. I bought it in 1985, and they don’t even make printers for it anymore. I use the other one for research and email.

I found a good buy on another computer, my third, at the flea market, and I bought it. It’s been sitting on the floor for almost two years now, and I have never even plugged it in to see if it works. But I might use it some time, so I’m going to keep it.

Up until a few years ago, I still had all of my marbles. They were in a cloth bag with a drawstring at the top. I never played ‘keeps’ with any of the boys, because Daddy said that was gambling.

But I finally gave them to my son, James Jr., up in Ohio. I hope he doesn’t lose them.

I bought about 100 tobacco sticks to use to stake my tomatoes. They were cheap, only $6 for them all.

Someone said, “Why don’t you make walking sticks out of those, and sell them?” So I made about 20 walking sticks and sold them. And, I didn’t make any more.

The rest of the tobacco sticks, which are ash, oak and hickory, are out there in the storage room, stacked upright in the corner.

I’m going to keep them, because some day I might get the urge to make walking sticks again.

I used to have a ceramics shop. I decided to give it to my son in Ohio, and I took him 700 molds. He opened a shop there, and did well.

But I kept some of the best molds. I’ve got about 40 of them out there in the storage room. Some have never been poured. I’ve even bought another small kiln.

My son gave up his shop in Ohio and got rid of all of his molds. I’ve tried to sell my molds to a couple of local ceramic shops, but no one wants them.

They’re too expensive to throw away. So, I’ll just keep them.

Seems like I’m just like that little boy in the thrift store. They’re mine, and I’m going to keep them.

When I left the store, the little boy, smiling, came out right behind me, carrying his box of toys home with him.


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