I have a box of awful crayons bought for me a lifetime ago. These crayons live in the bottom drawer of my bedside table. It’s a drawer full of keepsakes and things that are important. Except that half the stuff in there is only a keepsake because it’s in the Keepsake drawer. I have no idea how it this weird box of terrible crayons became a keepsake. There’s also a bizarre ring with a door you can open to extract a tiny doll with evil eyes and crazy hair in the mysterious keepsake drawer. It’s the kind of toy that you’d never give a child now because it would present a choking hazard and a pinch hazard and nightmares. It likely came out of a gumball machine, since I had a childhood obsession with putting every coin I had into those things.
But I digress.
The drawer also has real keepsakes – Connor’s first little newborn t-shirt and a pair of socks that fit on my thumbs. The webbed puppy collar that we used on Mira, Toby, and Louie, and some of the Lanark Highlands dog license tags they wore along the way. The newspaper from the day PJP2 died. A dozen thimbles that Mike gave me when we were dating because (in Peter Pan) thimbles are kisses, and I should always have kisses. The milk truck that Connor asked Santa to bring him one year, and everyone across Ontario was on high alert to find one (which we did, with only about 3 days to spare before Christmas. Thanks Santa’s Elves!). Some cards from friends and family to which I feel particularly attached.
But holy smokes, there’s a motley assortment of orphaned things in there:
There’s a cigar box that my mom helped me cover with red construction paper and hearts and we shellacked with Modge-Podge. It contains vintage un-sent, unaddressed valentines.
A set of 6 plastic squares that click together into a cube that came from my grandmother’s basement. It lived in my beta fishtank for a while, along with the KinderSurprise frog (also in the drawer).
A pen that the director gave us when I was in Grease at Theatre Aquarius.
A wooden frog pin with a dangly string that, when you pull on it, the legs and arms move. Except only three of the four limbs move.
A set of tiny glass birds that my grandfather got me at the CNE a lifetime ago. One of the chicks got run over by the vacuum. I’m not sure how it didn’t just get sucked into the vacuum, since it’s only about the size of a peanut, but it did lose some of its glass finery. It’s the ugly duckling glass bird, and it makes me sad to look at it.
There’s another cigar box full of costume jewelry that I intend to use to make a jewelled Christmas Tree.
There’s a folder with every report card, Activity Day and Track and Field ribbon, and Stoney Creek News photo of me from nursery school until I started highschool. Apparently, at that point, my mom gave up on the dreams of Bean-Bag-throwing excellence for me.
Of course, I could give the valentines (but to who?) Put the glass birds in the Jack Rallo succulent goblets that sit on my window sill. Make the jeweled Christmas tree. Uh… get another fish?
That drawer makes me exhausted, so I avoid it. I pull everything out of there, make piles, maybe shift things from one pile to another. Find a toe ring that I’ll wear until it annoys me. Flip through the funeral cards from my grandparents and aunts and uncles. And then I shove everything back into the drawer.
Live to sort another day. *sigh*.