The world’s largest collection

OK, so I didn't leave my ENTIRE collection on the beach at Captiva!  January, 2013

OK, so I didn’t leave my ENTIRE collection on the beach at Captiva! January, 2013

“I have the world’s largest collection of seashells.  I keep it on all the beaches of the world…perhaps you’ve seen it.”Steven Wright

I think one of the best traits we can develop is the capacity to thoroughly enjoy something without having to own it.  If you can master this skill, you can have more fun than money could ever buy.   And you’ll eventually enjoy a financial freedom that opens up all sorts of opportunities to you that would be unavailable if you were encumbered with the many costs of owning things.

When ownership is not your goal, you can go shopping for the evening, and ooh and ahh over any clothing, shoes, jewelry or furnishings that catch your eye.  Price is unimportant if you’re not trying to take anything home with you, but just want to appreciate its beauty.  Then you’ll come home without any shopping bags or bills, but a bank of visual images that are just as pretty (maybe prettier) in your memory as they would be in your home.

You can explore parks and libraries and streets of your home town, all for nothing (or next to nothing).  With a free card to your local public library, you can take home any books you see that even mildly interest you, and keep them for weeks before returning them.  Browse to your heart’s content, read about places you’ve never been and hobbies you might explore.

If you like to collect things, start collecting photographs!  Now that digital cameras are affordable, you can take as many as you like at no additional cost.  As the signs in many national parks and forests read: “Take nothing but pictures.  Leave nothing but footprints.”  Photographs are a joy to have, and you can store thousands of them on an SD card the size of a postage stamp.  The ultimate alternative to dusty clutter!

I’ve often heard grandparents say that the most appealing aspect of grandchildren is that you can enjoy them, but somebody else has to take them home and take care of them.  That same principle can apply to everything from diamonds to dresses to décor.  It’s fun, and even necessary, to own some things.  But it’s even more fun to collect moments of enjoying things you will never have to worry about owning.

What are some things you enjoy most without ever wanting to buy, own, or take care of?


  1. HarryS

    We don’t own “stuff”.
    “Stuff” owns us!

    • HOW TRUE! But I’m working on it…

  2. Sherrie Cannon

    Ouch! Now you’ve gone to meddling!! (keep it up). By the way, I didn’t comment on your post not too long ago about prayer, but that was one of the best–for me anyway. I cry every time I read it.

    • Thanks, Sherrie! I’m so happy to have you visiting us here. It is great to be back in touch with you after all these years. Give our love to your family and you too!

  3. Carolyn

    I just saw Grady’s new picture. He is adorable! Grandchildren are wonderful and you can give them back after you have had fun with them. You and Jeff will enjoy Grady. We don’t have babies in the family now, they grow up so fast. You all are in my thoughts and hope you have a great week, take care Jeff. Love to all.

    • Thanks Carolyn! Matt is eager for Grady to get older, I think. Drew said he was introducing people at church to Grady with by saying “This is Grady. He can’t talk yet.” 🙂

  4. Black Bears, Bobcats, Timber Rattlers. “Jackson! You get back. Grandaddy is crazy!”
    “I like rattlers.” (Jackson is four years old.)

    • HA! I should have seen that one coming. Ordinarily I’d say a four-year-old was just too young to know better than to like Timber Rattlers, but Jackson? Hmmm, maybe not. He might have a bit of Pecos Bill in him, with all those Texans in his family tree!

  5. Hedgehogs, chinchillas, antique cars.

    • Hey, I never even considered any of those! Jeff and I stopped by a mall on our way back from Bethesda, though – and I loved looking but didn’t buy! Until we left the mall and stopped by T. J. Maxx, that is. 🙂

  6. Sheila

    Julia, you’ve mentioned T. J. Maxx and my heart skips a beat! Actually, just as much as window shopping today at Millenia Mall. I am older and wiser now and I really try to catagorize “wants and needs”. I suppose CARS just excite Bill and me, whether on the road or imaginary garage, but can do without them! We are having a nice break before Bill’s conference starts. I love those shells…. especially the olives. Hope all is well! Love, Sheila

    • Hi Sheila, today was a strange mix of wonderful and totally worrisome and frustrating! (too many details to go into here, but nothing earth-shattering). Cars are definitely something I care nothing about, except for the Jaguar XJ6 (or something like that) which for some reason is the only car I ever notice – I’ve learned that when I say “hey, I like THAT car” it always turns out to be that particular make and model. That is a great example of the benefits of enjoying things without wanting to have one!!! Good thing I DON’T want one of those!! Re: “wants and needs” – here is a common exchange between Jeff and Me – Me: “Why don’t we get a new (whatever)?” Jeff: “Do we need one?” Me: “Jeff, we don’t NEED anything!” Not much he can say to that one! 🙂 Hope you are getting some perfect weather there. I guess Florida is not as exciting for someone who lives on the beach…

  7. Mike Bertoglio

    I am a hunter gatherer and even the thought of window shopping sounds like hell on earth.

    • Mike, I hope you don’t mind my saying this made me laugh! I think a lot of men I know could say the same. I have laughed with women friends about how our husbands are very goal-oriented in stores. They know exactly what they want, they go get it (without endless decision making over which type or brand) and then they pay for it and LEAVE. When I go to a store it’s like Alice going down the rabbit hole. GOOD LUCK getting me out of there anytime soon! When I was a young girl Eric once told me “you are the only person I know who can MEDDLE in a store! 🙂

  8. Mike Bertoglio

    yea it was kind of a joke, but when I shop I have to “find” the object. Sometimes I do like to window shop at Cabela’s however.

    • I thought about asking whether you liked to shop a plant nurseries! Jeff and I saw a lovely flowering purple shrub that I want to send you a photo of – neither of us could figure out what it was. Now when I see a shrub that I don’t recognize I say “I bet Mike would know what this is.” 🙂


  1. There is nothing lacking | Defeat Despair

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: