One of my writing colleagues posted recently that she was avoiding writing by cleaning her sock drawer (actually her cat/editor posted it, but that’s another story). Maybe it’s the power of suggestion, but I felt moved to clean out a drawer myself. I too might have been procrastinating, but we won’t go there. I headed upstairs and began diligently sorting through socks and bloomers (sorry, it’s a shared drawer). To my surprise, the drawer held much more than mismatched socks and undies. It held treasures.
I don’t know how or when these treasures slipped into the top drawer of the dresser we’ve owned since Tim and I married. I’d forgotten all about them. Here’s an inventory:
- One ticket to the 2010 movie, The Company Men starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, and Craig T. Nelson (and my favorite leading man Kevin Costner had a minor part). Tim and I went to see it on our anniversary. We went out to lunch and then The Palladium. I recall Tim said I picked the most depressing movie ever to see on an anniversary.
- Packaged soaps from Chinatown that Tim brought home to me after a trip to California on business. They have names like Bee and Flower Rose Soap and Bee and Flower Sandalwood Soap. I don’t remember what trip or who he worked for at the time, but he remembered to bring me home something.
- A doily embroidered by either my grandmother or my great-grandmother. It has a little sunflower in the corner and it’s yellowed with age. I’ve had it since I left home in 1976. My grandmother taught me to embroider when I was a child, daisy stitches and French knots. Her house always smelled like coffee and she always had hard candies in dishes sitting out. She took us to Cooney’s for burgers or the drug store for pop and sometimes she drove with the windows down because the air conditioning in the car was too cold (don’t ask).
- A Cookie Monster toddler toothbrush. I have no idea when I got it or why. Surely it was for my kids. They’re twenty-five and twenty-six now. My daughter has two toddlers of her own. Maybe I’ll send it to her.
- A very small school photo of my son Nicholas holding a basketball. The kind you cut off a sheet of very small school photos. He’s grinning from ear-to-ear and he’s probably seven or eight years old. Why that photo ended up in my sock drawer baffles me—not that the other items don’t.
- A stack of birthday and anniversary cards Tim and I exchanged one year. “Know why old guys wear their pants up so high?” Open the card: “You’re about to find out.” High humor.
- A rectangular block covered with wrapping paper and a typewritten note signed Love Mom with a little poem that says this special gift should be held close to my heart whenever I feel lonely because it’s full of her love. Thanks, Mom!
- A handwritten note from Erin that tells me she loves me even when she’s mad at me. “Thank you for taking me to the movies to see Dr. Doolittle . . . Thank you for helping me with my homework and helping me clean my room. Buying my food, doing my laundry. Most of all, thanks for loving me!!!!!. Translation: I love you.” (I also found a hand-drawn Valentine’s Day card from her in Spanish. íFeliz Día de los Enamorados! Complete with little red hearts for the dots over the i’s!). I still love you that much, Erin!
Yes, it boggles the mind that all of these treasures fit in that drawer with the mish-mash of socks from over the years. I don’t know how they arrived there or when, but I’m so glad they did. The everyday task of matching socks and folding bloomers turned into a special trip down memory lane from my childhood to my motherhood to being a loved wife and daughter. Everything happens for a reason, they say, and this one seems to be saying, No worries now or in the future. You’re loved and you will always be loved, no matter what happens.
So what did I do with these treasures? I put them back in the drawer, of course. Three years or five years or ten years from now, I’ll finally think it’s time to clean out the drawer again. Or I’ll need an excuse to procrastinate from my day job of writing and I’ll find them all over again.
Just waiting to make me smile.
Do you have extra special treasures tucked away in odd places for a rainy day? Feel free to share in the comments below.