How many times have you said to yourself, woulda-coulda-shoulda?  Recently I was thinking about that as it pertains to those things I got rid of or threw away as a kid.  Toys in particular.  I see nowadays what collectible Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars are selling for and shake my damn head.  As well, I had more G.I. Joe men and their cars, etc. than the U.S. Army has at Fort Bragg.

I remember in particular one time we had a yard sale.  I put my box of Matchbox cars in the yard sale.  They sold.  I sold over 100 of them.  My net-$10.  SUCKER!  I  cried all day after I did it.  I was like 8.  I thought I was growing up and needed big boy things like hell, I don’t remember.  But something made me think I no longer needed them.

My mother felt bad for me.  On Monday she called the local paper and ran an advertisement in the yard sale section.  She pleaded with the person, if you know by chance they happened to be reading that ad on a MONDAY, to call her.  She would pay them back the money.  I am fairly certain my mother paid back more than $10.  I got my cars back.  They were waiting for me in my room when I got home one day.  That is a mom’s love.  True parent love.

With my G.I. Joe’s, I think I gave them away or sold them at a subsequent yard sale.  I remember the 6 foot long aircraft carrier I got one year for Christmas.  I sold it, the hovercraft, the base, all of it.  I think to my kid’s stuff now and how I never want to get rid of stuff.  My wife rides my ass about it.  They don’t need this or that or the other.

My first thought is box it up if they don’t seem to play with something and let them decide later.  I am the proud owner of 645 Rubbermaid totes.  That’s not totally true.  However, there are several with toys and mementos from our kids and they far outnumber any other thing we have other than perhaps our Christmas decoration boxes and totes.

I wish I had kept my cars.  I have a few. The really bad-ass ones that I loved.  They number about 4-5.  Not too many.  I got rid of my collection of die-cast model cars too.  About 20 of them.  Ferrari’s to Corvettes and anything else you could think of.  Some I put together, others I bought.  From all over the United States too.  I miss those.  A casualty of divorce and having no room.

One thing that I truly miss perhaps more than the toys is a collection I once had of stamps, first day covers, postal insignia items and other US Postal Service collectibles.  The stamps numbered well over 200.  The first day covers and postcards were in the dozens.  They were given to me by my great-grandmother. She was born right after the turn of the 20th century.  1901-02.  She collected them from about the time she was 6 or so.  So, I had a collection dating back to right around 1910.

It disappeared. Gone.  Vanished.  I never sold it.  Never gave it away.  It is like a lot of other stuff I had when I left for college or when we moved the summer before my senior year of high school.  GONE.  The stamps, many things I owned from school that were other memories, my senior key, mug, tassels, etc.  Gone.  As well, I own a total of about 15 pictures of my mom.  I was never given any of that either after she died.

If I’d only taken more of my own pictures.  If I had packed more when I left for college…coulda-should-woulda…..If I’d only known.  I miss these things greatly.