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There are hundreds of podcast covering lots of different subjects such as music, religion, history, etiquette, television, entertainment, etc. etc.

By the way, a podcast is a radio show of shorts, except it is not delivered via a radio signal but rather downloaded from the internet onto your smartphone.

It’s always a good night when I can listen to a podcast and be introduced to new subject matter that I may not have heard of otherwise.

About two weeks ago I started listening to THE MINIMALISTS podcast.

If you’ve never heard of them, the minimalists advocate downsizing possessions in search of a more meaningful life.

I was immediately eager to find out how I could downsize as I am finding it hard to get rid of things that I have been accumulating for decades.

For whatever reasons, I have never given much thought as to what I would eventually do with all the stuff I had been accumulating. In my ignorance I just kept collecting more and more stuff. More books, more mugs, more records, more wool, more knitting needles.

More rubber ducks.

No word of a lie.

Case in point:

Now, I work with the lovely lady who I call Miss Jane.

She is very smart and an excellent conversationalist. We talk about history, religion, art, steampunk jewelry. Her necklaces have always fascinated me. They’re more like totems which usually have a cultural or religious significance.

From early on in our friendship one of the many things that I adored about Miss Jane is that she is as adept at discussing one of my favourite subjects, civil war history, as she is drawing portraits or designing fabrics.

Four years ago, she presented me with a small plastic shopping bag.

I peeked and looked inside.

To my surprise, I pulled out a General Stonewall Jackson Doll in it’s original packaging as if it had never been opened. General Stonewall Jackson was a confederate General during the American civil war.

She told me that it had been given to her as a gift.

The doll looked like it has the same measurements and attributes as a Ken doll, like in Barbie and Ken.

Miss Jane told me she was in the process of decluttering her home.

In all the years that she’s owned the doll, she never found any use for it.

Of course, I thought to myself.

Who would?

She offered it to me as a gift and asked if I would take it off of her hands.

I said yes and then thanked her for her kindness.

A few minutes later, as I watched her walk away, a question came to mind.

That question was…

“What am I going to do with a Stonewall Jackson Barbie doll?”

It was at that moment that I knew it was time to start thinking about downsizing my collections, or at least to stop collecting stuff.

That is why I would like to thank dear Miss Jane.

Without your kind gift, I may have never had that long overdue epiphany.

For that I am grateful…

And by the way…

If anyone is interested in acquiring a General Stonewall Jackson doll,

…please let me know.