The first stop on our day trip is a farm and museum off Route 1 that takes you from Montevideo to Colonia Del Sacramento through some of the best vineyards and cattle country in Uruguay. The Museo and farm are the creation of Emilio Arenas who not only has a world record pencil collection but sells cheeses, jams and jellies, in his little country store.

People collect anything. It can be ashtrays, matchbook covers, ceramic animals, music, books.The list is endless. Most collections,though,never end up in world record territory.They end up on shelves in the living room, or occupy a garage or shop where no one but the addict can be affected by his compulsion. In his case, Emilio’s pencil collection is the world’s biggest and brings customers to buy in his gift shop.

Out in the yard, not far from our tour bus, I sit in a chair under a shade tree and let the world zip by.

It is comforting to be in the countryside and dream about staying in a little house surrounded by chickens and goats and a milk cow. At night a window will be open and the stars will look like little pencil pricks of light, white sparkling dots on a black canvas.

Next time back, Emilio will get a pencil from New Mexico from me.

He will always find a place for one more.

 

 

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