Posted by: deadmousediaries | June 14, 2015

News from the Path Valley Hotel: Episode #82 – The Junk Drawer

 Last week I made a commitment to get the Path Valley Hotel organized before the opening of our big summer season. I didn’t want to get all gung-ho and burn out way too soon so I started with the junk drawer. (I’m a huge fan of micro-movements, those small do-able steps that bring you slowly closer to a seemingly unattainable goal.)
   If anyone reading this tells me that they don’t have a junk drawer somewhere in their home, I would find that suspect. In fact, I’m not sure we could be friends. The junk drawer is an American institution just like old golf clubs at yard sales and ketchup packets in the fridge door.
   I’m happy to report that the contents of my junk drawer have now been thoroughly sorted and arranged by size and shape. They are available for easy inspection and retrieval, nested neatly inside a set of matching cubes and trays that I personally believe were designed by the manufacturer specifically for junk drawer sorting.
   Among the things I found during that excavation were electric fuses for a fuse box that was replaced in 1982. There were 18 wire bread twisties, one lonely shoe string and two Christmas bulbs still sealed in plastic pockets, the kind you use as control units if you like that annoying blinker mode.
   I threw out the giant rubber bands that disintegrated in my hand as well as the empty packaging from an assortment of picture-hanging nails and hangers. I kept the two sets of unrecognized keys (you never know), the glass drawer pull, the wire strippers and the yellowed, plastic switch plate (but I don’t know why).
   I unearthed a Mercury dime, one buffalo nickel and a sterling necklace with a broken clasp tangled among the miscellaneous screws and thumb tacks. While it would seem that most things migrate to the junk drawer for the same reason elephants move to their mythical graveyard, I was rewarded for my work in proving that the junk drawer can also be a treasure chest.
   In contrast to my formerly disorganized what-not storage space, I also tackled organizing the things stored in the fireproof lock box Mom entrusted to my care from her apartment. I expected I might find some important papers there. I did, But the papers she and my dad found worth locking down surprised me.
   Among those finds were my mother’s mother’s senior year report card (1927), the extra strings for my dad’s Gibson guitar, and a news clip about their daughter. Best of all, there was one greeting card, given by mother to my dad, for his first Father’s Day. I knew instantly it had been my dad, not my mom, who had decided more than 60 years ago that should be protected from the flames. It made me smile.
   It had a silly little sentiment inside and she had signed it “Mom” complete with quotes around the word. My favorite thing was the little cartoon dad. The illustrator had managed to infuse his cartoon face with that deer-in-the-headlights look that all new dads exhibit and it made me smile again.
   The whole discovery made me remember Richie Rich, a 1980’s movie our kids once rented. It  starred McCauley Culkin and the plot culminated with the bad guys breaking into his millionaire family stronghold at Mt. Rushmore. The family treasure guarded there was irreplaceable; it was their photos, keepsakes and best memories.
   In my efforts to tidy up the PVH a bit last week, I was reminded that the stories of our lives are told in the the things we choose to keep. Every junk drawer tells as story as does a lock box. In my case, that warms my heart but it would be very disappointing to a burglar.
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Responses

  1. Delightful, Yvonne. I related to the junk drawer immensely. I could just see you sitting there with a smile on your face as you went through the items. Bless you, my dear.

  2. Another story that made me smile. :o)

  3. No wonder you and I are friends! At last count, I have 4 junk drawers. 😉


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