Monthly Essays

The Junk Drawer

After I transferred clothes from the washer to the dryer, I found a tiny shiny star at the bottom of the drum. I immediately knew what it was. I’m not the type to buy fancy Christmas socks with small red bows and sparkly stars, but I’d inherited a lot of socks when a friend passed away. I was in charge of finding good homes for her fine clothing, and I’m not exaggerating when I say she had 50 pairs of socks, some brand new. I kept some and gave some away.

You may think it odd to wear someone else’s socks, but why not? They fit, and I’ve worn them for several years now and think of her when I put them on. I’m a frugal person, and if there’s some good left in something, I’ll find it and use it.

I opened the junk drawer to stash the star in the former-plastic-butter dish that’s smothered by odds and ends. I thought I might someday find another use for the star. That’s when I looked at the stuff in that drawer.

When I kick the bucket, my sons will have to sort through all this stuff I’ve accumulated, and I can hear them in my mind wondering why I would keep such junk. They might not even know what some of it is.

For instance, do they know what a horseshoe nail looks like? Years ago, I used them to pick the goodies out of walnuts. Of course, I first tried to crack the nutmeats out whole. It was a real art that I’d learned from Aunt Punch. Back in our early married days, Jim cut a log that stood on its end that I could hammer on like a table, and I set it up in the living room on newspapers to catch the fallout and then cracked nuts with a big hammer.

There are several horseshoe nails in the junk drawer right beside those baby shoe lace keepers. When the boys were babies, they wore shoes with laces, and those plastic gismos slid right under the knot, and the laces went inside the little cylinder and kept the shoes tied. Now baby shoes use Velcro, don’t they? There’s also a big blue-headed diaper pin in that drawer that I stick in the nozzle of superglue when it gets clogged. Works great.

Before dropping the star in the drawer, I looked closely at it and discovered it was actually a shank button. It took five minutes to sew it back on the sock, right on the dainty red satin bow. Now my socks match again, and the boys won’t have to wonder what that tiny star with the rhinestone center was doing in the junk drawer. Instead, they can wonder what all those stray keys unlock.

P.S. With that drawer open, I actually did a bit of sorting. I tossed all the dried-up ink pens, threw away the pencils with chewed-off erasers, and put all the different-sized Allen wrenches in a small plastic bag. That’s progress!



Keep Your Fork

Not long ago I was helping with a fun wedding reception dinner of barbecue and the fixings. Unaware that there was another box of utensils, I collected dinner plates from satisfied guests and said, “Keep your fork for wedding cake.”

I have lots of forks. But I’ve never been one to set a fancy table with two forks or even put a spoon on the table if there’s no need for it. Why  wash more silverware? And I have said to plenty of folks who’ve sat at the kitchen table, “Keep your fork.”

At a funeral, I heard a man tell a story that many of you may have heard before (but I had not) about a woman who wanted to be buried with a fork in her hand. She always knew that if she needed to keep her fork there was more to come, and it might be apple pie or chocolate cake or caramel bread pudding (or wedding cake). Keeping the fork meant the best was yet to come, and she was hoping for a heavenly reception.

This time I really heard the phrase I’ve heard all my life.

Keep your fork.

Anticipate that something good is coming.

Lately, I’ve not been looking at life that way. I’ve spent a lot of time looking backwards. Living in memories. Thinking of what’s behind me, not what’s ahead. Dwelling on what I’ve lost and not what I gained from living with a smart funny man for forty years. A man who knew me, who listened to me, although not always agreeing with me, but who listened to me without judging.

So going forward, I’m going to change my outlook and keep my fork. I’m going to anticipate something good is coming my way, is around the corner, is beyond the bend. Why not keep your fork, too?


New Release: The Bachelor Association: A Christmas Story

The Bachelor Association: A Christmas Story by [Veda Boyd Jones]

A few too many deceptions?
Matchmaker Willa Wald, content with her life running the Stonewood Cottages motor court, fills out a sheet on bachelors who take her out to dinner so she can match them with a good wife. Doesn’t she understand that the men are really after her? And why does she secretly fill out a sheet on Lloyd Eldridge, a golf course designer, who checks into Cottage 3? Why isn’t Lloyd up front about his famous parent, pro-golfer Tommy Cantrell? There are many questions to answer before they can see a happy-ever-after in their future.

Download your copy today!





And an old favorite: An Ozark Christmas Angel

An Ozark Christmas Angel

Deception and Humor–Waving away the protests of Dr. Will Hamilton, legendary singer Anita Jane Wells fakes an illness to con her young protégé, singing star Lyndsay Rose, into flying to Missouri to take over her Christmas show in Branson. Anita Jane claims she’s a Christmas angel, doing this for Lyndsay’s own good so she won’t spend another Christmas alone. Once he sees her distress for Anita Jane, Will tells Lyndsay the truth, and the duo plot to make Anita Jane’s recuperative time absolutely miserable. But you can’t hinder a Christmas angel’s scheme, as Lyndsay and Will discover in this romantic comedy.
Enjoy this holiday read today!

Download your copy today!



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