Junk Drawer - Sudden Write Turn Freelance Writing

Junk Drawer

There are few moments in life equal to the satisfaction of having found a use for some junk that most people would have sent out with the trash years ago.

Key rings, broken-off doodads, extra pieces, the lone zip tie, camera film containers, stacks of thin business-card sized refrigerator magnets, a strip of twist ties, jingle bells, safety pins, bits of chain, a length of jute twine, eyedroppers, crayon stubs, washers, screws, and candy tins.

What is the weirdest thing you see?
What is the weirdest thing you see?

Who saves this junk?

I do.

These bits and pieces of life, separated from their useful whole, find their way to our pantry junk drawer. The junk nestles down among the universally accepted useful household items – screwdrivers, scissors, tape, ruler, batteries and glue. Each time the drawer is opened, some ancient speck of yester-useful tries to look just like the thing I need at that moment.

It is because that I often do find “the thing I need at that moment,” that I cannot bring myself to discard items from our junk drawer. Nor can I throw out orphan parts or pieces, because…you know…I might be able to use it someday. Into the junk drawer it goes.

We had a kitchen junk drawer when I was growing up, containing much of the same type of inventory. I loved to paw through that drawer – I saw treasure, not junk! When The Husband and I moved into our house twelve years ago, a junk drawer was immediately established. We now have more than a decade of accumulation, including items that have been waiting for more than a decade to become useful again.

The junk drawer is like the inside of my mind. Useful tools surrounded by unique scraps. Snippets of conversation, flashes of memory, a worn phrase from a long-ago read book, the image of a ploughed cornfield passing by outside a car window, someone’s laugh, a few notes of a song, the breath-catching of cold January, the buoyancy of salt water, the crack of a bat, the scratch in a throat, hot tears, a grandmother’s hug, a long kiss, a short goodbye.

Also, the humidity of Bourbon Street, the absolute silence of looking into the Grand Canyon, the sting of rain clouds enveloping a mountain summit, the emptying of a soul inside a Las Vegas casino, the worn steps at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, the singular odor of a New York subway, the deafening roar of a Fenway crowd, the sigh of an old dog when you finally settle in for the night…

Who saves this junk?

I do.


Reader Interactions


  1. I love this. We all have junk, some have rooms of it! I have a lot in my sewing room. As president (yes, me!) of RAFA this year I am going to give members Trash to Treasure challenge. Our meeting is this week and I think I will read your blog entry to them. It is right on target and inspirational! Thanks!

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