“You’ll never guess what I found at a yard sale this morning. And it was only 50 cents! I’m bringing it right over.”

It was my life partner, Magdalene, on the phone, and it was obvious from the excitement in her voice that she, like me before her, had become a certified, incurable picker. For those of you among the unafflicted, who have never watched “American Pickers,” or who can drive by a flea market or yard sale without bringing your car to a screeching halt, let me explain.

Pickers are helpless victims of what starts as a pleasurable pastime and soon turns into a mania for purchasing and filling their homes with collectables and ephemera they have purchased from various vendors along Maine’s roads and byways. Often, like me, they are former scoffers who once made fun of collectors.

If you were here in my living room, my credentials as a picker would be self-evident. You would find yourself surrounded by more than 200 pieces of Disney-ana – Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald and Daisy Duck, with nephews Huey, Louie and Dewey. Soft dolls, some a foot and a half high; statuettes as small as a single inch from bottom to top. Mickey pushing a popcorn wagon, piloting a boat. The nephews all smiles in a miniature merry-go-round. Minnie in a bubble bath.

And you’d glimpse also the Disney Christmas tree ornaments, commemorative plates, lunch boxes, comic books, mugs and glasses. Altogether they fill cabinets to overflowing, crowd table tops to the very edges, line up like smiling soldiers against the walls on the floor. Oh, yes, and they are all watched over by a magisterial Mickey Mouse telephone.

Wait. I’m not through. There, crowding half of my long, teak sideboard you’ll spot a surging herd of 54 elephants of metals and glass and plaster, some tinier than a dime, others bigger than my fist. Filling the remaining space sits the Asian collection, including a clutch of Buddha statuettes, tall and short, sitting and crouching; a gorgeous Geisha in full regalia; hand-painted vases, a Japanese wall screen; paintings and dishes, soap-stone carvings of craftsmen, teachers and fishermen. About 60 pieces so far.

My collection of old canes is handsome to look at, but modest by comparison, numbering only 11. On the other hand, the bells already total more than 40. I’m sorry you won’t be able to get a peek at my toy cars and trucks, more than 100 of them. They’re temporarily stashed away behind the sofa, until I can find a space for them.

Magdalene is a 50 percent sharer in all these treasures, and, in addition, has a burgeoning collection of miniature teapots at her own home. She has just walked in with her latest find – a rare talking Donald Duck toy. Wow!

I wish I could spend some time with Donald, but there’s this place on Route 1 up in Waldoboro that has a bunch of Disney stuff from World War II, so I’ve gotta go.