Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My dining room collection....

     I technically don't collect dining rooms, that would be weird, but I do collect things, in piles,  in my dining room at various times of the year.  I have to start this blog with confessing that my wife abhors that I collect things in our dining room, but she allows me to do it anyway sometimes.......

     Our dining room is directly off from our back porch, and is one of the ways to enter our house.  It is the wrong way, according to my wife, who would have you walk by the double french doors that lead into it, to the single door that leads to our back foyer, but that really doesn't make sense to me, so I come in the "wrong" door often. Point is, however, the dining room is an inconvenient place to pile things as any company coming over is bound to see it through the french doors, but it is the most convenient place to pile things that need to go back out of the house quickly, hence the frequent piles that end up there.  But what would I pile up in a room like that?  It depends on the season.

     In Spring, the dining room floor tends to get littered with boxes of tortillas and wraps from my job.  I have samples sent to me on a regular basis and it's too cold to store these in my car and the garage can get a little
This week's collection
cool at that time too, so I bring them in and pile them on the floor.  Each case weighs about 20 lbs, so it's not unusual for me to have 100 lbs of tortillas and chips just sitting in our dining room.  It does create some interesting questions when we do entertain.  It's kind of tough to explain your need for multiple boxes of 30 lb un-fried tortilla chips.  I normally just evade the question enough to get the people guessing what in the world we would do with these things.   When the weather starts to get warmer, I store this stuff on the Tiki bar in the back of my garage, near my kitchen (What, doesn't everyone have a Tiki bar and a kitchen in their garage?), but prior to that, they can be found in the dining room.  That doesn't necessarily mean that I stop storing everything for work in that corner, and in fact almost every Monday night you can find my suitcase packed and ready there, and on some trips assorted banners and flyers for distribution that week. 

     Towards the end of the spring, we start to gear up for the family golf tournament and as Chairperson, I end up with a lot of the clutter.  Most of the long term storage for the event is upstairs in my garage in the
What cases of tortillas look like
recreation room (What, doesn't everyone have an upstairs and a rec room in their garage?), but as the tournament draws nearer, it starts to collect inside. This includes the tickets for drawings, the cigars and boxes for the beer wenches, the shirts for the girls, and eventually the tee gifts.  Tradition holds that the Friday night prior to the tournament, my family stuffs the 100 plus bags that hold the tee gifts for all the participants.  The bag includes a sleeve of golf balls, rules sheets, band-aids, sunscreen, pencils, tees, and that year's tee gift which could be shirts, umbrellas, chairs, coolers, or another branded item. Suffice it to say, it's almost impossible to see the floor of that room the weeks prior to the tournament.  My sister Hummingbird has a similar issue to this as she collects thousands of dollars worth of donated raffle gifts for the tournament each year, but she has to keep hers for months, mine are in and out in a few weeks.  I often wonder if the kids will miss this particular tradition when the tournament ends in 5 years.  My son Nolan, has never know a June that didn't include stacks of stuff in the dining room and the Friday night "walk round the table" to stuff the golfers bags.  It's weird how sometimes you create these type of memories without even realizing it, but I digress, back to the clutter....

     After the tournament in early June we have a series of birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries that create a better kind of clutter in that room (I know right, what could be better than piles of golf balls, cigars and tortillas?) .
Oooh presents !!
Since we celebrate most of these events at our dining room table, that room tends to collect the wrapped gifts in the weeks prior to these events.  We have my birthday, my son Dan's birthday, my anniversary, and Fathers day that all occur within a 2 week period in June, so you can imagine what the pile must look like sometimes.  We'd hide the presents prior, but sometimes it's fun to drive the recipient crazy trying to figure out what is in each package prior to the event.  It's even better when we don't label the presents right away, and you have to guess if it's for you too.  After the 3rd week in June, the floor starts to show back up again and we have probably the longest stretch of clean floor in that room that we will have for the year.  My wife smiles more at this time and I'm never sure if this is because Summer is coming or just because she doesn't have to clean around the clutter in that corner.  Knowing my wife like I do, it's likely a toss up. 

     As Fall approaches we tend to get Scouting related piles in that room.  That's not to say we don't have piles occasionally in that corner during other seasons, as a matter of fact there are boxes of flags sitting there right now and I remember tripping over some tents that landed there already this year, but in the Fall it gets worse.  We do Scouting for Food in November and try as we might, we inevitably miss picking up a bag or
The pineapple stain in the dining room
two in our local town.  We'll come back home that month and find bags of canned goods hanging from our doors and we store them in the dining room until the next Scout meeting. One year someone donated a leaking can of pineapple, that we did not discover until a few days after the bags were sitting there.  The enzyme from the pineapple ate the varnish off the floor and created a black mark where it was set.  I took the blame for that one and someday we'll get it buffed out, but we have to clean off the floor first.  Each week my Scout briefcase ends up in that corner. I could store it in my office in the top of my garage (What, doesn't everyone have an office in the upstairs of their garage?), but since I do a lot of the Scout bookwork at night, it's most convenient to leave it in the dining room.  When we do car washes, the corner has piles of sponges, soap, buckets, and towels.  For pancake and spaghetti dinners, it's cases of food, and serving utensils, but it's safe to say, almost without exception, there is always something Scout related being stored "temporarily" in that room.

     As the winter comes and we start to prepare for Christmas, inevitably the boxes of Christmas decorations start coming in.  We put the Fall decorations in the same boxes so they stay there for a few weeks as we slowly start converting each room to a Christmas theme.  We generally don't store our Christmas presents there, as Santa doesn't bring them until Christmas Eve.  That generally ends the year for us collecting stuff in that room and we celebrate each year by inviting some close friends and family over for cocktails and to inspect the clean floor.  As I said when I started this blog, my wife prefers it this way, as she hates clutter, but I have a different view.  You see, each pile that comes and goes from that corner represents some activity or organization that we are elbow deep into, and the piles mean that we are keeping busy doing what was intended, that is, giving back to this community that we are so blessed to be part of.   It's as simple as that, so yes we have a collection in our dining room, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 
      Author's Note:  Next week I'll pen and post my 100th blog.  I'm thinking of doing a clip show, but if you have suggestions for a different theme, feel free to comment and share it.  Thanks for following!



cdyarger said...

In my defense, there are usually collections on the counters, end tables, piano, and computer desk too! SOME people seem to think that a cluttered house is a sign of involvement, ahem!! All that aside, I understand the need for "collections" in life. I hope our kids give back too!! Great blog again!

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