May 10, 2000
||Do you have a "drawer" in your house? You
know...the place where everything gets stored when it has no other home. I read a journal
recently where the writer went through a drawer in his home. It inspired me to look
through our "drawer." This is the middle drawer in our kitchen counter. For
years whenever someone is looking for something small, the standard response is "look
in "the drawer." Even though there are five drawers in that counter, everybody
knows which drawer to look in.
||This is the most important thing in
"the drawer." The labels says it's an "Adult Perpetual Diary." Little
did I realize when I bought it how true that was going to be. I bought it to be a book in
which I would record the dates of everyones birthday. Each year, I take the book out
and copy the applicable birthdates onto the new years calendar. Ive been doing
this now for over 30 years. The book itself is a tour through my life. I find the birth
dates of people I worked with in the early 1960s, people now dead, people with whom
Ive had a falling out. Each name is a new story. And names continue to be added to
my "perpetual diary."
||This is a potholder, long since past its
period of usefulness. It is threadbare in the middle, scorched and in places there are
holes. Why didnt I throw it out? Well, it belonged to a good friend and it has
sentimental value, so it goes in "the drawer."
||Rubber bands! Everybody needs em.
These came out of a larger bag, also in the drawer. We bought them when David was
delivering newspapers. He delivered newspapers for 4 years, from about age 8 until age 12.
He died 4 years ago, at age 24. But we still have the rubber bands. I loved it when David
delivered newspapers. Often I drove with him on his route and it was a great time to be
together early in the morning. I can remember the times that we would sit on the floor of
the family room, at 5 a.m., putting these rubber bands around the newspapers, then loading
them into the car and heading off on the route. Once David and Tom got snowed in at Lake
Tahoe and I had to deliver the route myself. It nearly killed me. Its impossible to
find house numbers in the dark in Davis. What used to take David 15 minutes took me 2
||This is a photo of Ned & Martas
dog Bert, who died many years ago. The frame broke and I was always going to fix it. I
cant find the piece that broke off now. Its probably somewhere in the drawer
too. Bert was such a great dog. Ned had wanted a pug for years and they finally found this
great puppy. Everybody loved him. What they didnt learn until too late was that Bert
carried pug encephalitis within him and when he was about 2 years old, at Christmastime,
while Ned was flying back from Hawaii to be with his dog, Bert died. Now Ned and Marta
have Yogi and BooBoo, two more pugs from Berts breeder, but as much as they love
those little guys, they can never quite replace Bert. Bert is buried in our back yard,
along with Ernie, Ned & Martas cat, and Toby, our dog.
|The drawer is a trip down memory lane...the ribbon from
a gift our Brasilian daughter gave us (its green and yellow, Brasils national
colors), pills from some long-forgotten condition, souvenir spoons from a couple of trips,
birthday candles from when the kids still lived at home and we did that sort of partying,
a freeze dried coffee sample that someone gave us once (we dont drink freeze dried
coffee, so it went into the drawer). Oh there are practical things too--thumb tacks,
staples, screw drivers, "frogs" for arranging flowers. Amazing how much stuff
you can fit in one small drawer.
One of these days I suppose
Ill have to clean out "the drawer." But each time I start, Im
carried back to earlier days, happy memories, better times. Quietly I close the drawer and
decide its too soon. Ill do it tomorrow.