Play Day

My house is dirty. Really dirty. I mean weeks-of-tracking -in-winter-crud dirty. It needs to be cleaned top to bottom. Swept and vacuumed and mopped and washed from corner to corner. And that was my plan this weekend: a full and thorough pre-spring cleaning.

Foolishly, I started in the basement. You know, the basement where all my collectibles and comics and puzzles and various forms of entertainment are. I started out with good intentions: just dust and vacuum and straighten up, then move to the first floor.

What a silly silly man I am.

Before long, I was fingering though my comic boxes, re-arranging my furniture, shelves and collections, rediscovering favorite activity books, looking though my collection of photo art books, yadda yadda yadda. Needless to say, the rest of the house never got touched.

Honestly, I felt like a 10 year old, falling in love with my collection and comics all over again, marveling at all the cool stuff I’ve amassed over the years. Things I never thought I’d actually find , let alone own. Things I only dreamed about one day having when I’d see them advertised on TV or in comics, or stacked on shelves in stores. This basement is truly a wonderland of everything I ever wanted.

I know others dreamed of great careers, amazing travels, new cultures and cuisines. They longed to travel, or become famous, rich or important. To leave their mark on the world.

I have never had such dreams. Not that any of those things wouldn’t be wonderful to have, do, or achieve. But I never really set my sights on any of that. Maybe it was low self esteem, pessimism, fear, or just a complete lack of belief that someone like me could ever have or do any of that. I doubt I ever even considered any of it. And trust me when I tell you, I have come much farther and done much more than I ever dared to hope I would.

But one thing I DID always dream of was some day having all the things I wanted growing up but could never afford, and never even had access to see in person. I grew up poor. What toys and items we had were generic, donated, used, and often broken. I would never have asked for, or expected anything specific. I knew better than that. The stuff on TVs and advertised in books and magazines were for rich people. I was content to have anything, and truly appreciated and took care of all of my possessions. (And because of that, I developed a strong and sincere appreciation for what I have.)

What’s my point? That this basement (and by extension, this home) is the culmination of my life long passions. I have put hours and effort and hard earned money into seeking out and obtaining those things that fill me with joy and excitement and that I can appreciate every day of my life. Nothing is stored away, or kept in pristine condition in their packages. Everything is read, touched, displayed, and happily shared with anyone interested enough to see it. I built this place and I am proud of it. This is my home, my castle, my sanctuary, my play room…this is my dream come true.

It may not be anyone else’s idea of an adventurous and fulfilling life, but it’s mine.

And that’s all that matters.

18 thoughts on “Play Day

  1. That is an amazing amount, such a collection. Seeing, touching, and using it makes it truly a marvel that is enjoyed. Congratulations for all you have accomplished.


  2. What a great story! Oh I understand completely where you’re coming from now. I too have a basement full of memories that I have accumulated over my lifetime that I do not want to part with until I die. Both Bill and Pat have urged me to “purge” but I will not. When I go into my basement media room, which I call my Memory Room, I feel so good going though those memories. And like you I have those memories well organized into containers. Do I need them? Well, actually I do for my well being. Pat wants us to eventually move to Palm Springs which would included me downsizing which is just a fancy way of saying throw away all my memories. I am not doing that while I am alive. Maybe if I am so decrepit that I can’t even move but even then maybe not. You have a wonderful treasure in your basement. You have worked hard (and continue to do so) and you deserve the rewards of your diligence.
    Thanks for sharing.


  3. Next time you will start from the upstairs and work down, yes? There are no giraffey or comicesque distractions up there, I’m sure.

    I’m tempted to go into my own complicated relationship to poverty and deprivation (or lack thereof), but I will spare you. Suffice to say that I am glad you appreciate what you have. I still feel sad for you sometimes, but I am glad you have built a good life for yourself, surrounded by nice things and (more importantly) people who care about you.


  4. I grew up without a lot myself, so I can certainly relate to this post. Your basement looks well-organized and kudos for how you’ve displayed your collections. I guess spring cleaning (for the rest of the house) is just around the corner.


  5. What a beautiful post. So glad you have surrounded yourself with things that give you joy.
    I think yesterday was a very productive day and I am glad you were able to savor your treasures. You continue to be an inspiration to me! Thanks


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