So sorry about missing last week's post! It was Thanksgiving break and I was going to be out of town so I decided to take a much needed break. I'm very glad I did too, because near the end of the trip to Portland with my family I did get sick. Well just run down really. Well if I'm being honest, yes I was sick. I haven't gotten sick in so long I cannot even remember. If I had taken that break I think that I would have gotten even sicker. It was my body's way of telling me that I needed to take a break. To slow down. So on our last day of the trip, Saturday, and through Sunday when we were at home I took it very easy. In Portland on Saturday only going to Powell's, the giant bookstore there, and relaxing in a coffeeshop. Then once we got home I relaxed all day Sunday. Watching TV, drinking tea, and eating well. This is very unusual for me and it was weird to do it. But, I'm glad I did. Then once I felt a little better on Monday, yesterday, I jumped right back in. Doing a functional exercise workout and submitting my application for the University of California system.

On that note I should probably say were I have applied. Well the college I most want to go to is Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on the central coast. My family and I have been going to San Luis Obispo, colloquially SLO, for years. I love the town and it has some great running. The college also has a great forestry program, which is what I want to major in. I am also applying to Reed College which is my second choice and a very small college in, you guessed it, Portland. As for the UC's I am applying to Santa Barbara, Berkeley, and Santa Cruz. Also just for laughs I am applying to Harvard. Which might seem odd, but here's my thinking: I am not ever going to go to Harvard, I don't want to, but if I do get in I can forever say casually, "Yeah, I got into Harvard, but I didn't go." Which to me is hilarious, to some pretentious. But, I've worked hard and I think it's worth it to be able to say that line for the rest of my life. Worth a shot right?

The trip to Portland was awesome, too. A great time with the fam to be grateful and to enjoy the cold and rain. Something we definitely do not get in SoCal. I talk a lot about the trip on this week's podcast episode (Episode 49). Two of my favorite things from the trip were, (1) the cold and rain. Which completely rejuvenating and a nice change. Of course it was a little uncomfortable, but it was great to run fast and free and to wear some different clothes than from down here in SoCal. (2) Was the Thanksgiving feast we had at Native Food's annual Thanksgiving Wellington course (all vegan of course, pun intended). Which we RSVP for every year. It was a great spread of food, I especially loved the stuffing and the cheesecake. If you want to hear more about the trip make sure to listen to this week's episode and I talk about more than just the trip!

Anyways what I want to talk about today is about collecting. Throughout my entire life I have collected antiques and artifacts. Things that interested me and added to my room and to my life. When I was younger my collection used to be more hectic. Now as the years have progressed I have refined my tastes. A common feature of my collection are glass bottles, usually glass bottles with glass tops used for medicinal storage in the late 1800's and early 1900's. I think they are just beautiful and worked hard to amass a good amount of them. Once I was satisfied with the amount I kind of stopped collecting those and now they hold a prominent place in my room. 

The next items that interested me deeply, and that interest ran concurrently with the glass bottles, were Civil War artifacts. I have always loved the Civil War and have countless books on that time period. In terms of artifacts I have a Civil War penny, a shell fragment, musket balls, Minnie balls (first rifle bullets, extremely effective), a Sharps rifle bullet, and more. These are very dear to me and I love to admire them.

I also love to collect unique and interesting items. One of which is incredible, an original USSR Soviet Union Membership Booklet. Issued to a real person and written in Russian this booklet proved membership in the Soviet Union. It has real and tangible history which is tantalizing. 

I also love gas masks. The futuristic, yet antiquated look of a gas mask fascinates me. I have three right now. The first is hard to date, but might be from around World War 1. The second is an inter-war, 1935 to be exact, French gas mask that is actually quite sought after, which I picked up for a steep steal. The last is a civilian issued Russian gas mask from the 60's-80's that was in preparation for nuclear war. They all tell a story also, from different point in history, with different unique uses. It's quite amazing if you think about it.

Cameras also fascinate me. I have 3 of them and my mom has more. The three I have a cameras that in their lifespan were well used. The models themselves were also extremely popular when they were sold. Cameras fascinate me, because of the fact that they are the gateway to capturing stories.

These are just some examples of my collection, but I think the biggest thing I take away from my collection is that sometimes when we look at history we tend to glaze over it. Not get deep and detailed into the specifics. The juicy bits. Because, there are many. Everyone has a story to tell and looking at history helps us know ours better. What will we leave behind? What will endure?

Thank you.

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