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.
I found so much stuff I’d forgotten about when we moved. Boxes and boxes of stuff.
We’ve lived in our house about 19 years so you can imagine how much stuff we’ve amassed, Shirley. We’ll have to downsize soon to a one-story house and I can only imagine what a chore it will be to sort through all our “treasures!”
Thanks for sharing, Kelly. I have special treasures in several drawers and they stay there each time I clean the drawer. Talking about memories. Blessings friend and you’re in my prayers.
Thanks! Prayers are always appreciated!
Nancy Goldberg Levine
You can find a lot of treasures when cleaning out drawers, closets, etc. I’m in the middle of that right now (moving) and have found things like an old interview I did after I self-pubbed my first e-book, cards from my parents, old photos, etc. It’s great!
It’s fun, isn’t it? I need to start some scrapbooks for my kids!
Natalie Kreitzman, Ed.D
I have a sock drawer. I am not proud of myself. Tucked behind socks that have missed their mate are love letters and cards from ex boyfriends–exes from 50 years ago. Perhaps they will come back? Most likely they are deceased. Sad really. I can’t bring myself to read the cards. Some of them, I surmise, are pleading for me to come back. Others are break up cards “Gee you were swell but can we just be friends?” Never be friends with an ex boyfriend. The prefix ex means out of the picture for an ex-cellent reason. Occasionally I find two matching socks and call it a great day. Most times not, so I wear mismatched socks. People do not stare because they know I have a broken leg. They stare because I have a broken heart, mayhaps? Sometimes souvenirs are very very painful and they surely belong in a sock drawer–good times and possibly not so good times. I hope you all have a blessed day, and may your socks always match. N
There is a store in Disneyland in Florida where they sell only mismatched socks. I went there with my agent Mary Sue. Erin would love that. Her socks never match. She says the shoes cover them up anyway. Love your perspective on “ex’s.” You’re right excellent reasons. I had to date a lot of stinkers before I got to the good one!
Isn’t it something that the little things in life, like finding heartwarming treasures, are such a delight. Your sock drawer cleaning adventure made me smile, and wonder what I might find in drawers and closets 😊
You should look, Linda. It’s so entertaining and you get the drawers cleaned out at the same time!