I have always been a collector. I guess I was born to gather, group, rearrange and admire objects. When I was a little girl, acorns, feathers and pretty, sparkling rocks filled the pockets of my play romper. A fierce interest in stamps festered throughout my school-age years. As a young adult, I dragged home from auctions those things not worthy of the bidding price asked: lamps in need of rewiring, musty feather down pillows, scraggly quilts, etc.
While my contemporaries amassed LP record albums that sat squarely in milk crates, I took an interest in accumulating textiles. Laundering linens, yellow with age, stained by rust, and gray from detergent, gave me sublime pleasure. I would soak the intricate lace doilies in a solution of vinegar and water and coax them back to their snowy whiteness. Then, I would hang them on a clothesline to dry under a hot, hot, sanitizing sun and to soak up the impossible-to-capture scent of the outdoors. Finally, I would press them, poking the iron into tiny frills and ruffles to ease any rumples. I enjoyed every minute of this labor.
When I should have been purchasing sensible things to furnish my first apartment, a treasure trove of multiple strand necklaces lay glittering in the top drawer of an antique vanity. I didn't have bath towels, but I had the colors of the rainbow held captive within a bureau. Because necessity forces practicality at times, I scored,at a garage sale, a bed, a brass one with a small dent in one of the bars of the headboard. And so I could offer guests a place to sit, albeit not a particularly comfortable one, a wicker settee served as my sofa. It was purchased on clearance at a store closing sale.