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 surrounded and smothered by odds and ends. I thought I might someday find another use for the star. That’s when I looked closely at the stuff in that drawer.

When I kick the bucket, my sons will have to sort through all this stuff, and I can hear them in my mind wondering why I kept 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 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 baby shoelace 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 dried-up ink pens, threw away pencils with chewed-off erasers, and put all the different-sized Allen wrenches in a small plastic bag. That’s progress!