Knickknacks or Dust-Collectors / Past or Present…Which Do You Collect?

Knickknacks 001

I was brought to remembrance about a post I read a year or so ago. It was about collecting things. You know all those dust collectors sitting in windows, on shelves or in china-cabinets. Things that carry special meaning only to the owners of them.

(The post can be found here:

As a child, I never really understood ‘knickknacks’ until my life started to be eventful enough to tie memories to things that I would not want to let go of. A ribbon won at a race, old earrings given by an aunt, or a stuffed animal given when I was in a hospital, these were the childhood ‘things’ to me. It was then, that I started to understand how the old folk could collect so many dust-collectors. Given a little time, I started to understand why such owners do not mind dusting all of them, if only to relive those long ago fond memories.

In my youth, my collection had grown to badges, medals for sports, pencil sketches, old letters, and a piece of white birch bark. Things that meant I had achieved a goal. I kept the medals on my dresser, and my mother sewed the badges on my favorite YOU jacket. I had enough badges from every sport to cover the entire back and down both sleeves! Sadly, all of them were taken from me one way or another. The jacket was stolen, and the medals burned in a house-fire. All those ‘things’/symbols are now gone, but not forgotten. They were around long enough to leave their imprint of memories for me.

Collecting ‘things’ to be triggers for memories can be anything. I know people who have collected things such as salt ‘n pepper shakers, teapots, or ceramics of their favorite animal. Each piece carrying a favorite memory of the giver, a place of purchase, or an achievement.

Not all collections need be so uniformed as such. There are many people who collect odd pieces. My son for instance, although now an adult, keeps firm a treasured memory from his childhood in a simple gum wrapper. Like him, there are those who hold theater/concert tickets, a penny, a post-card, a piece of twine, a wish-bone, a picture and the list can go on endlessly.

But this post is not about those types of knickknacks, dust-collectors, or things that carry fond memories. Those are all things from the past. My spin from this begs the question, what about the ‘things’ for the future to bring a smile and to trigger the beginnings of said memories?

Do you collect things that bring comfort and build new smiles? I do. Although, I do not necessarily collect ‘things’. If you have been following me then you know me, and you know exactly how deep God’s creation runs in me. If you have just joined me then one of my more recent posts ” The Ducks Among Us” will explain some, as well as “Beauty and Wisdom Within”(one of my earliest posts).

You see, I guess you could say my memories are connected to animals, although mostly to dogs. From the time I became independent at an early age, there has always been a dog in my life. I know dogs so well that from a simple glimpse of one, I could tell you the breed and it’s character strengths.  The catch-phrase “man’s best friend is a dog” is one I have lived well and with many. Some people have wondered why so many?  The answer is simply they needed me and I needed  them.

It started years ago through the least expected, a kitten. No not the famous “Mailbox Kitten”. This kitten was from my life in the North. She was brought to me and was so young her eyes were barely open. The weather at the time was -40C, the coldest part of winter. Her ears, tail, and some feet pads were severely frost-bit. I was asked to do what I could for her. My heart cried out and I took her despite not being a ‘cat person’.

Taking her to the veterinarian was out of the question. Winter weather conditions and price of gas tend to dictate the trips taken anywhere. (Put it this way…the nearest McDonalds was over an hour away!) The vets up there know this and extend their help anyway they can. They are a ‘special breed’ of veterinarians. They are not in it for the money, but are in it to tend to and care for, straight from their hearts. This ‘special breed’ of vets know those who are like them and will help others help the animals too.

So a quick call to my vet resulted in all the home-remedies and old ways to help this little kitten. Long story short… my little rescue kitten ‘Tiny’ lived. She lost both ear tips, and her tail. She was quite the sight, but strong and healthy. I was able to re-home her to a widow lady, to love her and kept her warm indoors. Word spread quick of Tiny and by winters end 23 cats and kittens were rescued and re-homed. No charge, strictly donations of food and litter.

Then the call came for me to rescue a dog. I had already put my foot down because we were purebred owners of a Rotti and Shetland Sheepdogs. The last thing I needed was a stray bring in deadly disease. (Our dogs have all their shots but wise owners know the shots do not stop the Parvo Virus . Any Rottweiler owner knows that rottis are highly susceptible to this disease and even the Parvo shot will not stop that deadly, horrific disease.) But this particular call came from an elderly woman pleading me to go rescue a purebred German Shepherd who was being severely abused. Chained to a tree with collars too tight, rarely fed and watered, and no shelter from those freezing temps. The elderly woman pleaded with the owner to give her a few hours to re-home it, after which if she didn’t, he would shoot the dog. Her plea to me fell on ears with a heart. We quickly arranged a warm sheltered area away from our own dogs, and brought him home. Charlie wasted no time winning our hearts and proving his intelligence. Within four days his physical healing had begun, his emotional healing well on its way and he started his forever home with a neighbor. He finished living a doggie’s dream-life out in the country. Eleven years ago, I heard Charlie had passed away. He had a full and happy life, free from chains, well fed, and his forever family well into his old age.

Since Charlie, no matter where I have lived, I have rescued and re-homed many dogs and dumped cats and kittens. I don’t make it a business; I don’t run a shelter. I just help when and where I can. In doing this, through the eyes of those that need me I am given a smile that runs deep, so deep it can hug my heart tight and give me lasting memories.

So in the end, I guess you could say out of all my collections, my favorite one will never be lost, taken, burned, or stolen, because it is my collection of smiles from deep within the heart.

To quote Julie Andrews, “I have always wished I could learn to be a potter. I love collecting ceramics; it would be so fulfilling to create something lovely. ” ….I may not be the potter, but I like to think that I help restore something lovely.

Just to be clear here, I do believe in the quote, “Too many feathers can sink a boat, and too many knickknacks can break an axle.” ~Author Unknown … Meaning I place my God and  human family above all and never have, nor will, allow animals to come ahead of them.

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.”                                ~Ben Williams

“We are all human beings with our own little knick-knacks and ways of doing things. ”         ~ Bernhard Langer

and finally,

“Stepping in slobber brings me sweet joy. The rantings that follow make the two actions harmoniously touch a dog lover’s heart.” ~ Mammy Oaklee

” Things collected that matter the most in the heart, should be written to help others to know what to collect.” ~ Mammy Oaklee

The Heart of the BottomsUp 2 thirds  Acre


About Mammy Oaklee

A wife, mother, grand-mother, farmer and wrinkly ol' writer, who's finally got some roots planted in 'The Heart of the BottomsUP 2/3 Acre.' A born and raised city-chick, who found many'a smiles where her heart had always longed to be, in the country. Digging in as close to the beginning of creations, and finding wonderment with a smile. I live my life as a rollar-coaster adventure, and always adding new dreams as old ones are full-filled. Of course, I write about it all!
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4 Responses to Knickknacks or Dust-Collectors / Past or Present…Which Do You Collect?

  1. A very wonderful heart felt example of pure love for God’s creation! I have recently found a puppy that the owners didn’t want. I was told she was to hyper, ate molding off the wall, and scared their child. Well, Katie is a precious 8 month old puppy! Yes she is hyper but I love her! She hasn’t eaten off the molding but she did chew up my only dress shoes. Does that mean I get rid of her… No! It means I teach her to chew on her toys only! She loves to snuggle in my hair under my chin and sweet doggie licks on my neck tells me she loves me too! She has become devoted to me with a love like none I’ve shared before! I am so proud of your example with loving dogs and cats! You are truly a blessing to those whom you are able to take in and rehome to a loving family!

  2. I love your post! I also love to collect much to my husband’s dismay!! 🙂 My granddaughter loved your book!

    • Mammy Oaklee says:

      Hello Brenda!
      It is fun to collect different types of things to bring back meaningful memories. Even collecting collections of inheritances can be treasured. They tell so much of ourselves, sometimes 🙂

      Thank you so much for letting me know the book arrived on time. It is wonderful to hear your grand-daughter loved the book Mailbox Kitten! I hope she enjoys the books to follow too. Who knows, maybe The Heart of the BottomsUp 2/3 Acre’s will become somebody’s collection too! 😀

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