Black Friday Purge

bugs3My son was home for Thanksgiving and on Friday it is always a mystery on what to do to occupy our time. He’s not ready to drive home, we don’t shop, we’ve played board games already and going to the movies is out because if the crazies aren’t shopping, they are going to the show. One of our theaters is next to a mall so parking is non-existent anyway.

So I suggested going through boxes of his old toys. He is 27 and hasn’t looked at them in years. Also he doesn’t have kids but would like to keep some of his old stuff, just in case, he gets married, has kids…I don’t know. I don’t ask.

He’s got a great Lego collection that any kid would love to have but that is sorted and boxed in the basement and off-limits! The stuff I was interested in sorting, donating or tossing was a lot of miscellaneous toys. I had found two shoeboxes under his bed that held a jumble of things so since he was game, we started there.

Three piles:
1.) Geez, this might be collectible or too good to give away – keep
2.) Has some play left in it – donate
3.) Crap that no one wants – toss   w/ sub-heading – recycle

I was really happy that the toss and donate pile was actually growing. It didn’t take us long to get through those two so I suggested we look at the additional boxes in the back of his closet. On we went. It was slow going because of all his reminiscing. It was also amazing to me that he knew where every little part went or what set it originally was from, even if that set, toy, game…no longer existed in this house anymore. Tiny missiles, lone little soldiers, fins, legs, helmets, game markers…my son with the steel trap mind remembered it all. So there we were getting through 4,5,6,7 boxes of stuff when we came upon the …insect collection.collectionThese were real insects. But they had died of natural causes (we presume) and were found by my son, who saved them. I know you’ve seen neatly organized insect collections in probably a museum. All are laid out and displayed with a pin attaching them to the board they are exhibited on. Those insects were captured alive and put into a “killing jar.” Those insects were then relaxed and dehydrated and pinned. A delicate and tedious process but you have a very nice “mount” in the end. Nathan never killed insects. If he found them alive in the house, he captured them and released them. Live insects outside were left alone. But finding one already dead, well that was different. The problem was these guys usually didn’t die peacefully and were found in contorted positions. These little bodies weren’t going to be “relaxed” and pinned to a board.

Is that your head over there?

Is that your head over there?

Some were missing parts, all were in some state of rigor. And many had recently met their maker so they weren’t all nice and dehydrated. I remember one especially fat beetle who smelled pretty bad. What to do?

Old smelly

Old smelly

Enter my husband, with the solution.

Curt buys a lot of stuff at garage sales and flea markets and one such purchase was a wonderful collection of glass jars. He gave a bunch of these to Nathan. Thus, the dearly departed could be viewed and not smelled because these jars had nice tight lids. They sat on a shelf in his room and were added to, as deaths occurred. Later, once Nathan had moved out, I put them in a box in his closet and forgot about them.

Butterfly, Bees and ??

Butterfly, Bees and ??

We had fun looking at this old collection, but in the end, they weren’t worth keeping. Nathan discarded the bugs, outside in the snow. Their little husks, no longer smelly, fluttered away.  The little glass jars were washed and scrubbed and went back with my son who plans on storing spices in them. They will still look nice and smell a lot better.


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