I Didn’t Let It Go…

I’m one of those folks that has a (bad) habit of hanging on to things far longer than I should.  I’ll look at something that I’ve had on a shelf or in a closet and know full well that I am likely never to need/use it. BUT… I just can’t bring myself to get rid of it.  What if I end up actually needing it?  Is it something I can replace if I ever want it again?  Is it really hurting anything by just staying where it’s at in case I need it?

The reality is that in more cases than not, I absolutely should get rid of some of the $hit I have on shelves and stuffed in closets.  In some cases – more recently, because I’m getting better about it – I have gotten rid of some stuff. (I still have a long way to go)  My only motivation, though, might have been just to have space for the next item that I want, but I have gotten rid of stuff that was ultimately serving only two functions, collecting dust and taking up space.

There have been a few things, though, that I have absolutely refused to part with, and I have kept them for years.  One category of items is books.  I don’t have a huge collection of books, but I have many.  Most are role-playing game books (D&D, etc.). Others are books from my favorite authors (Feist, Brooks, Zahn and others).  Some of these books I have not picked up in years, and we’re talking about some of these being 30+ years old. They’ve moved with me from place to place, and ended up on shelves in an area of the home that my wife has deemed acceptable.  I simply refuse to get rid of them.  Having them is a comfort, I suppose.  They contain great memories, especially the RPG books.  Great stories, read and wrought, have come from these books.  I am not likely to ever get rid of them.  It will be a burden my daughter will have to deal with when I am no longer able to live.

The other array of things I have kept over many years are the mental expulsions I have put onto paper – both cellulose and electronic.  This collection contains the results of musings, inspiration and/or motivation from many role-playing game campaigns and my less than stellar attempts at smithing words.  Like the books, this collection possesses memories of things from a major portion of my life.  I can remember great times sitting at the table with my players when I look at some of my old game notes.  I look at a poem or snippet of story idea and, love it or hate it, remember that writing is part of who I am, no matter how poorly I perform that act.

Well, hanging on to this stuff has helped inspire/motivate me a bit again.  I have been lacking in my endeavor to craft some yarns.  So hanging on to this stuff might have actually been worth it… to me, anyway.  I found half-drawn maps of my fantasy world the other night.  I have since spread them out on a table and started working on them again.  This inspired a post about Welandar – the kingdom in this world where my ideas are trying to manifest – here – and a story here that I am going to put in that world.  I’m hoping I’ll stick with it now that I’ve grown older… and maybe up a bit 😉

So, I guess the point I’m trying to make – if there is a point to this ramble – is that hanging on to certain things is a good thing. My advice, though, is to figure out what those things are and work on clearing out the rest.  It might just make room for more good stuff.  There is nothing wrong with hanging on to things that remind you of good times or inspire you to do something you enjoy.

A Good Time

The wife and I spent an extended weekend near Branson, MO with my best friend and his wife.  It was a good time in spite of the monsoon that took place Thursday night through late Saturday.  While not my home town, I was Home for the few days we were there.

I grew up going there almost every year until I was 16.  Then after that, not as frequently, but still going every few years or so until about 10 years ago.  Wow, I had not been there for almost 10 years.  I’m so happy I went back.  Great memories were created there, and more were added.

We stayed in a small cabin/house at my long-time choice place to stay while there, Cottage Resort.  It’s on Indian Point of Tablerock Lake.  It’s been there for well over 50 years (my parents were already staying there annually the year I was born).  I love that place. The cabins aren’t much, but they are clean and maintained.  They have 2 bedrooms, and recent upgrades include a 2nd bathroom and a screened-in porch.  The porch was a fantastic addition.  We sat outside a lot even during the thunderstorms on Friday.

We got to do a little fishing.  We didn’t catch much, but we all caught at least a couple of fish.  Just sitting on the lake shore and enjoying the area, though, was more than enough.  The Ozark Mountains are – in my opinion – hands down, the most underrated place to see in the U.S.  If I could get all my life ducks in a row, I would very happily live somewhere around there.

We went to Silver Dollar City.  It was fun… and expensive.  The place has changed some over the near half-century I’ve been going, but there are things that have not changed, either.  I’ll just say that some things are better if they don’t change.  SDC is a cool place to see.  The craftsmen are the highlight for me.  But it’s a theme park and there’s plenty to do and see for adults and kids.  It’s very family friendly.  Again, I have been there many, many times over the 40+ years I’ve existed on this planet, and with the exception of a very few bad experiences with crowds, I’ve always enjoyed going there.

Best of all, though, was the company I kept over the weekend.  When I’m hanging with my best buddy, it’s always a great time.  We stayed in on Friday and played games and talked.  I would argue that it was likely the best part of the whole extended weekend for me.  We just… had a good time.  I can’t wait until the next thing like that comes along.  I will also make sure that one of those things will be returning to Cottage Resort on Tablerock Lake…