Pack Rat ?

Over the year’s Terry would tell me that I had an illness…. he would say that I had pack rat syndrome.

So, I went ahead and decided to look up the definition of a pack rat.  I found that a pack rat is a bushy-tailed rodent of western North America that has well-developed cheek pouches and that hoards food and miscellaneous objects.

Then I thought about this definition and asked myself, do I have a bushy tail? I don’t think so! Do I live in western North America? I know I live in North America, but I live in the east (in Florida) so does that mean I don’t live in the west…I’m so confused!! So, do I have well-developed cheek pouches? I looked at myself in the mirror with and without food in my mouth and I really couldn’t tell? So, I’ll let you guys decide the answer on this one. Now do I hoard food and miscellaneous objects? Well….I’ll have to admit I do have a slight tendency to do this. I do know my older brother used to notice that I tended to keep a very large supply of meatballs in my freezer and yes, I had a feddish for stuffed animals and sometimes would buy one too many (see photo). But you know most people that are hoarders, tend to have junk all over the place. However, I am very neat and a bit OCD so I must keep things in very neat piles and to make sure all my stuff is out of view so there is no clutter. So, does that make me a neat pack-ratter?

So, I explored the definition of a pack rat further and discovered that it is a person who collects or hoards especially unneeded items. So, I thought to myself…. did I really need all those stuffed animals…well probably not, but they were so cute and cuddly! Luckily, since we were selling our 4,000-sq. ft. home last year and were moving into the small recreation vehicle I had to donate all my stuffed animal friends. No room for them in the Inn. So, Bye bye dear friends! 

Okay, so now you see all these boxes of stuff in the other photos. They are all the urostomy supplies I accumulated for Terry. Yes, I will admit I probably went a bit overboard here, but the stuff was needed for changing out Terry’s uroromy bags on a regular basis although I probably had 10 years’ worth of supplies on hand. At least I kept things neat and out of site in our RV because I told you I was an obsessive neat freak.

Well today I finally boxed up all this stuff up and donated it to Moffit Cancer Center for others in need to use. So now the RV feels a bit empty. So, am I now a cured pack ratter?

Okay, I don’t know and I’m a bit confused again?

Let’s just all agree for now that I’m a temporarily-cured partially diagnosed rat packer (since some things I hoarded were necessary although somewhat excessive) and that I will admit I still do still have a feddish for stuffed animals and I will always love my meatballs!


47 thoughts on “Pack Rat ?

    • Thanks Jodi. I hope you didn’t get 10 version or so of this post. I was having trouble publishing it and kept having to trash it quickly and start over I think I may have finally figured out how to bring the photos over to the media section and write the post in word and copy and paste it into the post so I don’t keep having this problem in the future. I’m sure I’ll forget how I finally did this and become confused again. Oh well it is done for today!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know? If I get one, then I would want that one to have a friend and then I would think those 2 would need another one and the whole accumulation process of stuffed animals would happen all over again. I just think I need to collect virtual spoons !! Much easier.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am sure the cancer charity are hugely grateful for your donation and of course you bought so much because you are an optimist and you thought you would need it all …. the cuddly toys will start all over again. Surely the first should be a stuffed pack rat? 😉

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    • The stuffed pack rat sounds tempting, but then that would lead to the canary named Terry and then the pet turtle and then a friend for Roxy, then all those talking plush stuffed animals that they have out there for Halloween, then the Christmas ones, etc; etc; etc; I am going to do my best to abstain !!! We will see. Luv Gary

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My mum collected teddy bears of all sorts and sizes over many years but they were always under the window in her lounge, I thought it an extremely unhealthy hobby, they would just sit there collecting dust. Recently, she decided to have a huge clear-out and off went the teddy bears to who knows were, but I am glad she managed to do this – though throwing out all her cds and dvds because her dvd player broke was a bit extreme!


    • Down-sizing and reducing clutter is a good thing. I actually find it a bit refreshing. When Terry and I down-sized last year and we were successful in getting rid of everything except just one storage unit container (still in Dallas) and whatever else was essentially needed for our RV, there was a sense of relief of not having to deal with all that excess stuff anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are not alone, I know quite a few people who have this tendency to be an organised neata OCD pack rat. My brother, I feel may be on the boarder of one as well…but he is into well made, hardy tools – you should see his garage! Anyway, pack rat or not, you did a huge thing with donating and I know there will be many people out there that will be eternally grateful. 🙂


  4. I can put my hand up and say I’m like you Gary! What I loved about living abroad was that we could donate gently used things and furniture away to charity before we moved back to Europe. Until a few years ago we couldn’t so that in our neck of the woods because giving to charity (even recycling) was not so easily done here. So being a pack rat was almost the norm for everybody. Now thankfully things have changed. What I fear is that nowadays instead of donating, people generally throw away things, even if they can be donated. One example is books.
    I’m smiling looking at the photo of the stuffed animals. I donated mine around ten years ago. I just kept five, which had sentimental value and I could not bring myself to donate them.
    As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Honestly this blog, and all the people who comment make my day. There’s so much love here. It’s a rare thing and I appreciate it all. Have a great day x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Today I finally opened all the posts I got from Terry’s blog after his death. I didn’t want to open them, was afraid he might have prewritten a few posts before his passing. It seems that you have taken over Terry’s blog now. I can imagine how lonely and lost you must feel right now and I assume blogging will help you in your grieving process.

    The title of this blog “Spearfruit….this is my life” makes me wonder if taking over Terry’s blog is the right thing to do. Terry’s blog will help a lot of people in their battle with cancer, it will also help a lot who will -like him- face death in the end.I am a cancer survivor myself and wish I would have known him -and his blog- back then when I fought my battles. Perhaps you should entertain the idea of starting your own blog about your life and your life with Terry? It’s just a thought, please don’t take it as a critic.

    I wish you all the best!


    • Thanks for checking in and catching up on the blogs. I am going to be tweaking Terry’s blogsite a bit at some later point as I become more proficient in using word press.. However I intend to his blog active and to do my best to carry the torch in Terry’s honor. As you know cancer has a great impact on the patient but it has in some respects a greater impact on the patient’s full time caretaker/spouse and other close loved ones left behind. People diagnosed with cancer are still welcome to go to this blogsite and to experience Terry’s journey before he was diagnosed with cancer, then what he and I went through in trying to combat his cancer and then ultimately to collectively face the reality of his death. We didn’t want Terry’s blog to just go by the wayside and collect dust or just to become a read only document. We wanted to keep his spirit alive and to continue to keep his blog interactive because the story of Terry’s life truly doesn’t end at the point of his death. There is a lot more to tell and a lot more love to share. Thanks for stopping by and glad Terry had a positive impact on you and that you we able to become a cancer survivor. Fondly, Gary

      Liked by 2 people

  6. But you are so organized!!!!
    And who doesn’t love a stuffed animal!!!
    My daughter donated all of hers to our dog one year and it was like christmas for a 5 year old that was given a thousand things. He was so excited going to each one.
    So you made someone really happy with all of those stuffed animals.


  7. Gary, re: nonsmokingladybugs’s comment. I’m going to respectfully offer another point of view regarding starting a different blog. I think there are many reasons to continue on under Spearfruit. Terry’s blog entries will continue to help people who are going through similar struggles–they’re all there. I believe that continuing the blog honors Terry and provides a a sense of continuity for all involved. I also think that continuing your part of the story could be helpful for other caregivers in terms of moving forward. In any case, I love that you seem committed to keeping the blog alive and I think Terry would love it too.
    I too am a pack rat who aspires to be a minimalist. I loved seeing your collection of stuffed animals — I mainly collect orchids and antique photographs (neither of which was a planned collection) but in any case, I definitely have the “collectors bug”!


    • Thanks Gillian. I actually wrote a response back on the suggestion made by the other follower before reading your comments here and interestingly, you are right on concerning Terry’s blogsite. My intention is to continue to keep Terry’s blog active in his honor as the story truly doesn’t end here and you are right, coping with the loss of a loved one and finding a way to move forward in ones life is equally important and can be of great help to others who might be facing a similar situation in life. Appreciate your comments. Gary.


  8. It’s okay to pack rat as long as there is some good in it. At least all the stuff was donated for good causes. My husband is a bit of a pack rat but I keep it under control. Every so often he will say, “Where is this?” and I plead ignorance…🐁


  9. Haha! This post made me laugh! 😀 And my mom is just like you, though without the need to be neat about it 😉 The things she hoards! Ah well, I always think that it´s creativity channeled in other directions than with a pen and paper 😉


  10. Oh my, I love stuffed animals…I have large teddy bears in my back seat, they are used for pillows when we stop for a break…LOL Its hard to pass up a stuffed friend…I am sure the cancer center was happy to get Terry’s extra dressings and bags. So I am understanding that you have quite a bit of room to start again…nothing wrong with that as long as it makes you happy and I am guessing you won’t let it get out of control….XXkat


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