Collecting for Life


Mackenzie Wallace

Sarah Burnett with her antlers.

Mackenzie Wallace, Staff writer

Creating a collection often happens by chance, rather than advance design. An individual finds an interesting object and chooses to keep it. A similar item is found and added to the initial find, creating the start of a collection. The collection may grow quickly or slowly and may be limited or become immense. Some people collect the most unusual objects. 

Cassidy Evenson never really had a conscious starting point for collecting blankets. She already had a lot of them and a couple of years ago started adding more and more of them. 

She tends to get really cold so she loves cuddling into a warm blanket throughout the year, even in warmer weather when others are trying to keep cool. When Cassidy finds a new blanket, her priority is not color or pattern, but whether it is fluffy and soft. 

“I already had many blankets so I decided to keep going,” Evenson said. 

Due to wear and tear, there will be blankets in her collection that became less fluffy, but she does not dispose of them. It inspires her to seek newer fluffiness in an additional blanket for her expanding collection.

Sarah Burnett has always been fascinated by the bone structure of antlers and the fact that deer shed their antlers annually. Since it is natural for the animal to shed its antlers, it does not hurt the animal; collecting the antlers is safe for the deer. The James Pate Tri-County Forest Preserve has a large white-tail deer population. Sarah has six antlers and none of them are pairs because they fall off at different times.

She received her first antler one Christmas as a gift from her Dad. Since then she loves taking long walks by creeks because she knows where the deer reside and where they are more likely to be when the antlers fall off. 

“I have to know where to go to find them,” Burnett said. “ I normally search for a few hours at max, because eventually, I will get tired.”

She has gone through thick brush to find the antlers but is rewarding when she finds one. It has proven to be an interesting and relaxing endeavor for Sarah to collect antlers. Antlers can be sold as art, but Sarah intends to keep her collection, stating, it better stay, when asked if she intends to collect antlers for her entire life unless she moves to a more populated area like the city.

Each of these emotionally based collections enhances the life of its owner. Their clear connection to the collection reveals an attachment that offers a break from the academic focus of the college. Whether analyzing antlers, bundling under blankets or seeking additions for any other collection, acquiring anything can become an obsessive endeavor.