RDP Sunday: Squirrel


The only squirrels I know are the human ones, the ones that squirrel it away somewhere in case it might come in handy. That was one of my mum’s favourite phrases and dad would join her in her collective spirit.

I only saw mum and dad once a year when I wandered off to Switzerland. They had moved to their council house and at last had a bathroom, an indoor toilet and space but  the collection of glass jars continued: of course, they now had more room for more jars. It could be anything: a paper clip, a button, a nail, a screw and undefinable objects made of metal, but the main thing was they could come in handy.

One day my dad was left on his own, but the collection continued. I could not achieve a lot for one week in a year on my visit, but I remember once I did a radical tidying up session. He was already asking  a day later where that clock was that he always had on the shelf. I broke the news that the clock was no longer working. I think the time on the dial had been the same for the 20 years since I left. And then there were the buttons. Does someone really need over 200 buttons in a glass jar? If he really needed a button he could perhaps buy what he needed in a store.  When I departed to Switzerland again he had space on the shelf, or was it the kitchen cabinet and he was probably still missing his glass jars.

He had to move on to a new apartment in his care home later and my friend helped him to sort everything before moving. I was happy to see that he had not taken any glass jars with him full of bits and pieces. He now had new cutlery and cups and saucers and the old crockery that mum and dad had kept for so many years was no longer. He was still talking about the clock he once had.

I think that made me allergic to putting things away that might come in useful. My motto is live as if your were going to move house once a month. It is amazing how that works. On the other hand I wonder if my offspring are shaking their heads at the many books Mr. Swiss and I possess: six bookshelves in the hobby room in the celler and a bookshelf occupying a complete wall in the living room.


RDP Sunday: Squirrel


19 thoughts on “RDP Sunday: Squirrel

  1. We squirrel away what matters to us. I like your idea of thinning things based on having to move within the month. As my dad and stepmom are getting ready to move into a retirement apartment, its currently pertinent. I’ve been offloading stuff for years, including books. That started when I realized the textbooks from college and grad school were hopelessly out of date, no longer useful references.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My dad had some stuff which was family and I am the only daughter. I remember on one visit I contacted a trasport company to ship a case of books over to Switzerland. It worked and they were delivered to the company where I worked. It was a good job that I worked as an export clerk at the time and knew how to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it was their generation — and my second ex was a “squirrel” of incredible dimensions. He’d buy OTHER PEOPLE’S junk and save it. Your collection of books is pretty big. Mine might be the same, it’s just hard to notice since it’s not on one shelf.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems to be a man thing. Mr. Swiss tends to pile up his reliques in our hobby room in the cellar. Now and again I throw them out and he doesn’t even notice they are gone


  3. Hi Pat. It’s been long time. I have been silent because I have been working in other things ( a book) . This post has very useful tips for me. I’m a squirrel because I’m too lazy to put in order my things. I keep accumulating papers, and I’m literally flooded in them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m a squirrel too – I have some 2000 books and an equal number of DVD’s….. Every time we drive to the UK, we load some 200 books in the trunk, books I’ve read and now know that I won’t be able any longer to re-read any of them, but letting go these past loves is hard to do!
    A very special post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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