My niece Gracie has strived towards a number of career goals in her first decade of life. The first, age 3, was the “Pizza Monkey” (grown man dressed as a purple monkey holding a pizza sign on a street corner). Thankfully, she was encouraged to aim a little higher. Her dreams of being an Acrobat lasted the longest and was her official preschool career. She would only agree to pursue the big top if “her husband was willing to stay home with their children”. No, I am not making this up. Next came, “wedding-dress-picker-outer”, as defined by Grace as someone who helps a bride pick out her wedding dress and telling her how beautiful she looks. The girls were watching quite a lot of Say Yes to the Dress at that time.   

Grace and I have a lot in common. In addition to a variety of career goals, we also like to make words string together by other words. That’s how we come to the Never-Thrower-Outers. 

Never-Thrower-Outers are sharers rather than hoarders. For example, my cousin Susanna saved and later passed on all my Grandma’s costume jewelry. No on is going to wear the jewelry again, but neither of us could throw it away. I shoved it all in a drawer then forgot about it for a year. A brilliant idea came to me. With a little hot glue, I turned Grandmas awful earrings into new and retro refrigerator magnets.   

The people in my family aren’t hoarders, as far as I know. We just keep things forever knowing, deep in our souls, that we or someone we know will find a good use for it someday. We are very generous with our stuff too. I always have a pile of random gifts to pass on to friends or family. Currently the pile includes flower cupcake liners for Chef Lily and DVDs of a college professor for my sister Rachel. I cleaned out recently or the pile would be larger. 

Susanna passed on all of her gardening soil, pots, stones, fertilizer and hazelnut shells. Cora loves pulling up delicately planted blossoms by their head and burying them upside down. Susanna gave up. Cora’s indelicate “love” of gardening is my gain.    


And in case you’re wondering, Gracie now wants to be a teacher. 


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