One of my favorite pastimes as a kid was collecting postage stamps. I also had an extensive collection of Matchbox cars. I took great pride in both my collections.
On a hot summer day, I could be found playing with my Matchbox cars under the oak tree between my boyhood home and the neighbors to the north, the Belknaps.
I always built a fort using twigs between the large roots protruding from the earth. I would push my Matchbox cars around in the dirt and let my imagination run wild.
I also enjoyed my stamp collection and often picked up old stamps from neighbors or family members. I remember one of the many occasions when my family would stop to visit with my dad’s aunt in Coweta, Okla., a small town about 40 miles southeast of Tulsa.
Her name has slipped my memory, but I could take you to her home just off Highway 51, which runs through the heart of Coweta. I remember the old general store there and I often entered through the backdoor to get a cold Pepsi in the bottle and a candy bar or bag of chips.
We often stopped to visit my dad’s aunt and I remember once when she sent me to the back bedroom and there in a glass dish on the dresser was a stack of old 5 cent postage stamps.
I also bought stamps from a postage stamp dealer a few blocks from my home. His store was located in an upstairs office at 13th and Harvard. I would ride my Schwinn bicycle there and always returned home with some loot.
I don’t have the Matchbox cars any longer, but I still have my stamp collection. I have often thought of trading it or selling the collection, but have done neither.
January is National Hobby Month. It’s the perfect time of the year to pick up a new hobby, or rekindle an old one.
You’re never too old to have a hobby. For Debbie and I, we enjoy going antiquing. We have several antique stores we like to visit in both Iowa and Missouri and have amassed a few things along the way.
I deal mostly in smalls. I enjoy collecting cigar boxes, pop bottle openers, Pepsi memorabilia, some toys such as Auburn tractors, Old Threshers pinback buttons and seed corn booklets handed out by seed corn dealers to their customers. I have one seed corn book that the original owner used to write his family tree. I also enjoy collecting postcards. I probably have 1,200 or more postcards all neatly organized by state, type or category. I have a nice collection of Montezuma, Iowa, outhouse, comic World War II military, Washington, D.C., Tulsa, oil wells, Will Rogers, Route 66, Mark Twain and Hannibal, Lake of the Ozarks, University of Missouri-Columbia and much more. My oldest card is dated in the early 1910s.
With eBay and other on-line outlets, collecting and selling is much easier these days. I purchase many of my postcards on eBay.
My dad collected old saws, old tools, single and double trees, which were used to hitch a horse or team of horses to a plow or wagon and other items that reminded him of his boyhood days. I have garnered much of his collection and have added to it through the years.
A couple years before Dad passed away, he gave me the set of harnesses his dad used during the WPA (Works Progress Administration) days in the mid-1930s to build roads in Oklahoma. I would like to know the stories behind the set of harnesses.
Collecting is just one of many hobbies that people can do. People have such varied interests from building puzzles to buying and remodeling homes.
When finding a hobby, enthusiasts offer the following advice:
Sit down and think about what you really love to do.
What are you passionate about in life?
What sparks your interest the most?
What are you curious about?
What are your goals?
Finding a good hobby and giving yourself time to take part in it on a daily or weekly basis is sure to make you happier, and maybe even healthier. Keeping your mind active is a good way to handle the pressures of work and life and keep your mind fresh.
My goal for 2021 is to enjoy the moment. With all the craziness going on in the world, it is good to give your mind and heart a break.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.