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Published:August 22nd, 2011 12:44 EST
Where is My Buried Treasure?

Where is My Buried Treasure?

By Donna Cavanagh

I saw a preview on TV for a new show called Buried Treasure. The idea is that two world-famous antique dealers search American homes in search of--yes, you guess it--buried treasure. In the previews, we see these two experts telling every day, middle class people that their junk is going to put thousands if not millions of dollars into their parched bank accounts. 

Good for these people; I have always dreamed of finding treasure in my house.  I love the stories of yard sale devotees who buy what they think is paint-by-number artwork at a yard sale because they like the frame on the picture, only to find out three years later there is a Monet hidden beneath the cheap painting--a Monet worth $50 million.   I probably will never know what it`s like to experience that feeling of euphoria. No, if I had to guess, I would most likely be the person who sold the Monet for $1.50. 

So, in this show, these antique dealers search the homes of people in need. How many people in need have these expensive treasures? And where do they get this stuff? I get old stuff from family, but it always turns out to be just old stuff. I own not one family heirloom that is worth more than $250. 

There is an upside to my no-value heirlooms. I would think anyone worthy of calling himself or herself a thief, would avoid my house. Why would a professional burglar take the time to bypass my alarm and my intimidating German Shepherd/lab/possessed moose mix to get their hands on my worthless junk which I keep mostly for sentiment.     

So, my concern is not so much that I have nothing of value that would impress the antique experts on this new TV show; no, my concern is that I have nothing to pass onto my daughter as well.  The people in this show have clocks and violins and tables and pottery bowls they received from their great-great-great grandparents--all worth mega dollars. I have none of these things, but I do have a Hodge Podge plaque I made in an art class in high school. It looks better than the bowl I saw on the TV show preview, but my guess is it`s worth about 60 cents, and I don`t think my daughter would feel enough sentiment to keep this piece of crap--uh, I mean art to wait for its value to skyrocket after I am dead. 

Perhaps the reason I don`t own valuable heirlooms is that I hate keeping stuff. I tend to throw things after three years of no use.  I don`t like boxes of idle crap filling up my attic or basement. And sometimes, I get into these purging moods where everything that is not nailed down finds its way to the trash.  I have been threatening for two years to get one of those rent-a-dumpster things and clean out the house, so if I am not willing to hold on to belongings, how can I expect to discover buried treasure?

I have made a decision:  no more purging. I think if I want to either find heirlooms or create them, I have to start keeping glasses and dishes and furniture and paintings and pillows and everything. So, starting tomorrow, no more throwing out anything. Yep, I am going to let the stuff in my house grow until it suffocates the people and pooches living it. Then, I will gladly take the title of crazy lady of the neighborhood while I wait for my buried treasures to pay off.    

If I do all this, will I become the focus of an episode on Buried Treasure?  Probably not, but I might win a starring role on the show Hoarders. Yes, I am sure if prompted, I could fit in well with this crazy crowd and their odd collections.