Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The Junk Drawer
I can see it now. The Junk Drawer; to the left of the kitchen sink. It was a medium sized drawer – it held bits of stuff in a jumble – keys to things long lost housed in Early Tupperware; little jars of bits, screw drivers, broken little chains – the kind that held a key ring. A small hammer, a bit of coiled wire. Some string and a rubber band. Dice. A red pencil stub. Hooks, clips, a metal measuring tape and metal film canisters with screw tops filled with things that rattled. Thumb tacks. This was the drawer of the lesser things, the useful things, and the things to which she would let you have access. Everything belonged there, and we all used the junk drawer. It was where you found what you needed.
The drawer was heavy so you had to pull hard and lift up a bit to get it open, and a mighty shove with the 9 year old body was required to close it. The white drawer itself made a noise as it opened and then the stuff in it made a collective rattle so one always knew when the junk drawer was opened or closed. It was her drawer really. She was the Constant Collector, The Keeper, and she knew the value of all things. She quietly squirreled things away, not only in this drawer but in all the little “hidy holes” around our old quirky house.
My Mom must have cleaned out that drawer sometime after her divorce. She probably sorted all that stuff gathered over the years and kept at least some of it; certainly the tools and a key ring or two. The remnants are probably housed somewhere here at my house now. Later, when she had moved away and the kitchen was gutted for a remodel, the drawer itself must have been discarded; its usefulness as a container of one of her collections no longer valued.
It’s funny – the memories that choose to be kept.