A Word to the Wise: It is time to open the treasure box

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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OK, it?s not time to call the TV show ?Hoarders? just yet. I am admittedly a saver and a piler of a certain few things ? papers, some books, baseball cards, personal knickknacks. However, to be fair, I also have a working relationship with the trash can. My mother was a packrat. That is a step below a hoarder. She was forever getting ready to ?clean the house? for over 25 years. One time I tried to clean up and clean out a few things and it ended up causing more trouble than it solved, so I never did that again. It all came back to mind this weekend when Carol brought out a small box. Little did we know it was a Pandora?s Box that released a whirlwind of memories for me. In her box lay her Betsy McCall doll, the one she asked her mom for years ago. Her box also included numerous pieces of random jewelry. A fun swirl of memories floated out into the present. I have several treasure boxes. One sits next to the computer here as I type. Let?s see what?s in it. The box itself is a pencil box from Mrs. Hopkins? third grade class. It holds the gospel of John I received the day I began consciously living the Christian walk. Lots of baseball tie pins, lapel pins, ticket stubs, a woodcarving my grandfather made and many other things are also in this box. So I became interested in opening up my other treasure box. In this one I have many odd and valuable coins and bills, stamps that carry some significance, more ticket stubs from baseball games, some $2 bills, and so on. In a sense this second box is more of a true treasure box, at least monetarily. It?s funny what we deem important as we travel through life. We attach a certain significance to otherwise insignificant items and hold onto them. I may one day cash that second box in and do something fun ? go to a ballgame, grill the biggest steak I have ever seen, or buy and give out as many chocolate donuts as I can. To stay on top of the flow I try to throw away more each day that I receive. It?s mostly paper, but also includes ?stuff.? At the funeral of a rich man someone asked, ?How much did he leave?? Someone else rightly replied, ?He left it all.? Reach Tom Rupp at