A Minimalist’s Prized Possessions

For many years, I (Gerry) considered only a few things as prized possessions. As an avid cyclist, I’ve loved every bicycle I have had. My current bike, I have had since it was brand new in 1996, a Cannondale mountain bike that I have long considered one of my two dearest prized possessions, along with a 1989 Alvarez classical guitar. Let me also mention, bikes and guitars are two things enthusiasts love to collect; not me, I have only ever had one of each. Since guitar playing, and cycling are two of my favorite things, these are both very logical choices, and being an avid music fan, I also have an extensive collection of vinyl and CDs that I treasure as well.

In 2017, after many years in the Triangle, we sold our home and downsized drastically. You start to figure out the significance in the items you own when you get rid of a lot and the perspective on what you value shifts somewhat. Couple our downscaling with the minimalist game we play every January, you really narrow things down to what you absolutely cannot part with.

Over the holidays, I had time to look around at some of the smaller things I regard as prized possessions. There is a cross on our wall from when I was confirmed into my Lutheran church at age 15. There is a metal book marker with the initials, “G A S” engraved on it- a present from my parents. I didn’t realize at the time, “Gerald Scott Arner” would be engraved as “GAS.” This led to some confusion, and a few laughs. I have many books on music and the history of rock music which also make my list, along with music related items. There are sports memorabilia including many things related to my Philadelphia Phillies: a Mike Schmidt Throwback Jersey from a trip to a Phillies game, also a Philly Phanatic stuffed doll signed by the great Greg Luzinski, whom I had the pleasure to meet. Along with these are some Philadelphia Eagles apparel including a Donavan McNabb Jersey, and a 40-year-old cut-off t-shirt with quarterback Ron Jaworski’s number on it. I have never worn it because I thought cut-off t-shirts were ridiculous (and still do), but I could never let go of it.

To sum things up, I have less things I have had in years, but more things that I value. It seems with passage of time, we come to realize the value of simple things we may have overlooked or taken for granted before.

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