Sunday, 2 May 2010

"I know, it might be

useful - one day," my father tells me. He is holding an ancient work shirt with a frayed collar and a second tear in the back. The first tear was mended by my mother so the shirt has to be more than ten years old. It is probably more than twice that.
My father keeps his clothes. (He still has the Harris tweed jacket his father made for him before he married.)
He keeps everything else too. I tend to keep things as well. We are hoarders. My clothes may not be quite as old as his but some of them have lasted well. Clothes are not the problem though. I can throw those out when they reach the unwearable stage - although what I consider unwearable around home others might consider should have been consigned to the dust bin long before then.
Our problem is books - and timber. We collected both yesterday. We went to the local library sale of unwanted, pre-loved, otherwise designed for the scrap heap books and rescued several books that pleaded with me. There was a gardening book Dad was looking for and that is out of print, a theology book (new but obviously unwanted by owner) that he wants to read and a book about
drawing Japanese style cartoons (for one of my nephews). I also had to have a book about Chinese (a language I know almost nothing about) and a book of quotations (because I collect those). I did not rescue any fiction. I try not to do that unless it fills a gap in my collection of children's books. That seemed like a fair contribution to the library coffers - and they have a long list of books from me and others that they might like to consider buying so the money will be useful.
On the way back there we collected an unwanted chair. The owner was just about to throw it in a skip. My father recognised it for what it is and asked if he could have it instead. The owner looked slightly surprised. "It is cedar," my father explained.
This obviously meant nothing to the owner. He shrugged and said, "You can have it." My father managed to balance it on his gopher and, slowly, bring it home. It is now in pieces in the shed and, I am assured, "very good timber indeed". I know cedar is precious but this is apparently particularly good.
What is he going to do with it? I have no idea. That does not matter. It has been rescued and it might be useful - one day.


Anonymous said...

I can't resist a book sale. Over the years I've picked up many out-of-print or first edition treasures.
I hope the timber in the chair comes in handy. Unless a chair is going to be restored as such it's hard to imagine what one might do with assorted chair legs. But the sentiment is wonderful - good on him!


catdownunder said...

Hello, thankyou for commenting! What do you with chair legs? Boxes, manipulative puzzles, toys, spools for French knitting. It is a bit soft for buttons.