It seems I'm kind of hard up for a blog post these days. I guess my own life is kind of boring (in a good way...mostly), and whenever I get started thinking about various political issues, mostly I just feel white-hot rage (women's rights in reproductive health care, anyone?), so that's why the blog has been quiet of late. So thanks be to Jessi, who has this awesome Five on Friday series that never fails to be entertaining and is often worth ripping off for a topic of my own. Thanks, Jessi!
Today's topic is "Five Things You Absolutely Must Have"...according to me.
1. Old postcards. When I was younger (just writing that is completely depressing) I traveled a fair amount. As a college student, for example, I spent three weeks in London, a week in France, five weeks in Salzburg, Austria and two weeks in South Africa. I've also been on a few major road trips and seen both coasts and a few major cities. I always bought postcards as souvenirs, mostly because back then one still used film cameras and one would have no idea if one's pictures were any good, so buying postcards was a way to ensure decent photographic evidence of having been somewhere exotic and interesting and Not Here. Also, postcards are cheaper than most souvenirs, and they don't fill up your luggage. Now, my postcards are a little musty and packed away in various boxes, but I will always have them.
2. That Kitchen Gadget You Only Use Once A Year. Or never. For some, this might be a wedding present you registered for and got and then felt guilty for never using. Or a gift from a well-meaning relative. Or an ill-conceived spur-of-the-moment purchase of something that turned out not to be useful at all. I was at the big box craft store the other day to pick up some sewing notion or other, and I saw a shelf piled high with boxes containing, I kid you not, the Slice-O-Matic. There was a picture of a sliced cucumber on it. I thought "Who on earth would spend 25 bucks on something that does the same job as a knife?" Sure enough, when I went to check out, the lady in front of me had one in her cart. Anyway, for Stuart and I, the rarely-used kitchen item was a Belgian waffle iron. We got one for our wedding, used it twice, and let it collect dust in the cupboard until we finally gave the thing to the Goodwill. Since then, Stuart has gotten back into making waffles (go figure) and my parents graciously gave us their old waffle iron they weren't ever using either. So it's all good.
3. A box or jar or tin full of buttons. You just never know when you're going to need one. I collect all those spares you get with jackets and button-down shirts, along with extras from who-knows-what projects. Come to think of it, I hardly ever need just one button for anything, but I'm still glad I have a little collection, just in case.
4. Old Yearbooks. They may make you cringe, but they are good for a laugh. Especially when they feature hairstyles from the mid-90s.
5. Proper Outdoor Wear. I'm serious about this. I heard recently that some study out there had convincing evidence that people who get at least 20 minutes of fresh air every day are generally healthier than people who don't (fewer colds, etc). I believe it's important to be outside every day, and I also believe there isn't bad weather so much as inappropriate clothing. Obviously, there are exceptions to this. If it's pouring rain or hailing or 110 degrees or so far below zero that your snot freezes before it can drip out of your nose, well, no one will begrudge you staying inside for the day. But having lived in Wisconsin for nearly 12 years, I have learned how to cope with, and even enjoy, cold winter weather: wool socks, wool hats, wool mittens, silk underwear, proper shoes, a good coat, and you're all set. (As for the summer heat, well, I know I can't speak with as much authority on this since we don't get the brutal heat that Kansas and Texas have experienced the last few summers. Take advantage of public swimming pools, I suppose, and support your local ice cream shop!)
So there is my list of 5 Things Everyone Should Have. What do you think? Do you have all this stuff? What did I leave out?