Our family closet doesn’t include too many cat lady skeletons. Mainly because many of us are allergic to cats. Which goes to show that even the dark cloud of allergies can have a silver lining. On the other hand, our family closet contains what I consider to be a variant of cat lady skeletons.
Just a few, though. Well, maybe more than a few. Maybe a lot. Okay, to be both accurate and ironic, our closet is crammed full of them. There’s a deceased great aunt who could have been the inspiration for A & E’s Hoarder show. Several quilting aunts and cousins live by the motto, “She who dies with the most fabric wins.” And Grandma Josie, who raised eight kids during the Great Depression, saved yarn and fabric scraps, buttons, bread sacks, flower slips and tin cans for potting them until she gave up housekeeping at age 93.
The scary thing is, I’m becoming a lot like her.
Each fall, when the first frost threatens, my hoarding instinct begins, a mad attempt to repot my geraniums, asparagus ferns, and vinca vines so they can winter in the house. Every year, my collection of winter greenery grows to more closely resemble my grandmother’s ninety-seven geraniums in tin cans on bedroom windowsills and her scores of African violets arrayed on special plant stands in front of the picture windows in her living room and den.
And I enjoy having them around.
During the weekly watering of the plants, artistically arranged in front of east, west, and south bedroom windows upstairs, I take great pleasure in plucking off dead leaves and rearranging pots to take advantage of the sunlight. Inside, I feel just like Grandma’s face looked when, as a child, I watched her tend her plants.
I might as well jump into the closet with all the other family skeletons and get comfortable.
Except I only act this way for half the year. And only about certain plants. Also, I throw away bread sacks, don’t like to quilt or knit, and gave the button box to my daughter.
So maybe the crowd in the closet won’t accept me.
Which would be perfectly fine since the closet’s getting pretty crowded. Mainly because nobody inside it can throw anything away. But I can, and I do. So don’t even think about nominating me for Hoarders. And pay no attention to the year’s supply of toilet paper in the basement.
I have no idea who put it there.