the collector

He collected things here and there, browsing secondhand stores, going to yard sales, and sometimes simply rescuing things from trash cans he passed.  He didn’t think of them as treasure.  Everything he selected he had a need for, either directly or to be tinkered with, fixed, modified to fulfill some other purpose.  Occasionally the items he brought home did collect dust but that was never the intent.  They were never meant to sit on a shelf and be admired.  He wasn’t that sort of collector.

He might have bristled if you had called him a hoarder, though not from outrage but because he harbored the fear that perhaps he was.  He kept his house tidy, however.  Everything was treated like a tool and put in a place where it could be used when its time came.  His workbench was kept clutter free as well.  He would sweep and clean and put away after each new project.  Everything was always where it belonged.  There were, indeed, a lot of things.  They filled cupboards and drawers and cabinets, and hung from pegs that lined every wall in the garage in rows and layers.

And he was always happy to lend a hand with his neighbors.  Along with the tools he collected the experience and know-how of using them and would willingly offer to assist on any projects that popped up.  He was handy like that, a good neighbor and friend to have.  He’d loan out and even gift the items and his time, asking nothing in return.  He knew he would replace whatever was used.  It was only a matter of time until he’d find another one while searching here and there to add to his collection.

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