My mother, sister, and I have scratched our heads a little bit and laughed together about some of my father’s perculiarities since his life-threatening hemorrhagic stroke seven years ago. I think he’d always had a little bit of an obsessive-compulsive tendency, but it seems to have been exacerbated by the results of the stroke.
He is a compulsive saver and converter. He saves empty peanut butter jars and uses them to keep cereal in so that it doesn’t get stale in an opened box, which is pretty smart. But most people use containers designed for that purpose. I think he likes the size of the jars, as they travel easily. When he comes to my house he brings several of them in one of the plastic bags in which he packs his miscellaneous items.
He then uses the cereal box cardboard, too, cutting it into handy note-taking sizes. He keeps a few in his pocket, on the desk, and around where he can write on them, when needed.
I do applaud his Scottish thrift and his creativity in repurposing things. He’s always had an entrepreneurial spirit. When something catches his attention he will give it a studied once-over. Beyond the typical “how is this made” question that one might ask, sometimes I think he’s wondering, “What other uses could one find for this particular thing?”