Covering house fires is always sad. Not as sad as when a person or pet is killed obviously, but to see someone's home burn to the ground is an extreme downer.
I know people who've lost all of their possession and while thankful they had still had their health and that of their loved ones, it's extremely difficult.
This case in Fairview Heights, Illinois had another depressing angle to it... the fact the homeowner was apparently a compulsive hoarder.
I don't think this could ever happen to me, but because hoarding is getting so much attention these days in news articles and reality shows, I make sure I keep myself in check.
Whenever a new President takes power or some world-changing event happens, I'll save that front section of the newspaper and put it in a box in the basement. Do I really need to do this? Of course not. What am I going to do with these papers other than just keep them in a box? Nothing. It's not like a museum is going to call one day and tell me they want my copy of the Houston Chronicle the day the space shuttle Challenger blew up. But I have it somewhere.
I'm not a big purchaser of souvenirs but when I look around our house I can't help but think, "Man, we have a lot of stuff." It's either stuff we use or stuff we like. My wife and I have gotten to the point if it's not something we use or like, it's either time to donate it (if it's worth something to someone) or toss it.
I saw a story on the CBS Evening News about people who's goal it is to have 100 or fewer possessions. Wow. I would find this impossible. We have hundreds of items in our kitchen alone. And since I don't think washing the same fork, knife, spoon and bowl over and over right after I use it is very appealing, I'm not that worried about having multiple utensils, plates, etc.
But after watching that story on CBS, I've got a new sense of accomplishment every time I get rid of something. I think, "I'm one item closer to being down to 100 possessions."
Do me a favor. Don't print this out.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.