Today is the fifth day of Diabetes Blog week. Each day we have a prompt and are called to post a response. You can read all responses at my friend Karen’s site Bitter~Sweet. Also, please remember RABlog week will occur in September. I hope you join the fun then as well.
More than Diabetes – Friday 5/19
Lets wrap up the week by sharing a little more about ourselves, beyond the chronic illness we or our loved ones live with. Share an interest, hobby, passion, something that is YOU. If you want to explore how it relates to or helps with diabetes you can. Or let it be a part of you that is completely separate from diabetes because there is more to life than just diabetes! (This topic is a suggestion from the 2016 #DBlogWeek survey.)
I come from a family of collectors of silly things. The collection bug was best exemplified by my father who at some point decided to collect matchbook covers. Dad could not explain his collection, why he did it or what the end game would be. He understood they had no real value, but his collection was not about value. It was about things. He collected these for several years and then cold turkey, it was over. He no longer had interest. The collection at the end numbered a few thousand, all sorted and categorized in perfect, pristine form. There it sat for years. An object of great passion for a time but my dad ultimately grew tired of it. At the end of his life, he called his grandsons together and said this is now yours and he divided them up. No thought was given if they wanted them or not, I was wily enough to dodge the gift, but my sons each walked away with a large collection of things, which by then, they had likely never seen in the wild.
My dad progressed into various other collection passions after matchbook covers. Padlocks with railroad names stamped on them was a big push. Steam whistles was another, then railroad playing cards, and model circus wagons and model cannons all captured his fancy at one time or another. At one point he even collected business cards. He got on the internet business card exchange. He had to send 30 different business cards to someone, and he would get several hundred in return. Then the dumb thing is that it worked. When he was doing this, he would go into business’s and take as many business cards as he could find. It did not matter whose business card it was; his obsession was about quantity.
In each case, Dad would collect these things with as much gusto as you can imagine then suddenly he would tire of the pursuit and invariably he would call and offer me his collection. I had to tell him at some point I could not take them, and then he would do whatever it took to get rid of the collection. Sometimes he would find a neighborhood friend and give his prizes away. He sold the padlocks and train whistles on Ebay and sometimes, he would just put it all in the trash. So my father had this obsession with collecting.
My Collections are no better
This takes me to my various obsessive collections. I have been into model lighthouses, matchbox cars and my one enduring collection Hard Rock Pins. Yes, those souvenir pins they sell at Hard Rock Cafés. I know it is a strange thing to collect. But before you judge (I know you already have) hear me out.
First here are some facts about Hard Rock Pins. It is estimated that each restaurant will issue 9-12 pins per year. By my count, there are 204 active properties. The last official count of pins was 44,000, but that is an old count it is likely that the number is approaching 50,000. According to the hard Rock Pin Collectors organization, the individual world record collection exceeds 5,000 pins. I have collected about 300 pins, so I am an amateur collector by all standards.
I love Hard Rock Guitar pins, and I tend to buy most of the pins available when I visit any restaurant. For the record, I also collect restaurant visits. I have visited 39 Hard Rock restaurants; I keep a running total of the properties, so I do not duplicate my list. Whatever city I am in for whatever reason, I try to find the local hard rock restaurant.
I also give my pins away. Both of my sons have pin boards that I have given them. But unlike matchbook covers, I try hard not to burden them, sort of. My pins are an extension of my personality and how I feel about diabetes and another chronic disease. I understand my journey will always be incomplete; I am trying to bring some order out of chaos, and someday I hope to have something that my children’s children will value. In the mean time you know that Hard Rock Pin that is laying around in the drawer? I am always receiving donations.