We just installed a new oven and the kitchen has been all torn up. A fit of tidiness and order naturally followed this upheaval, an inspiration to do something serious about cleaning things up to match the shiny new appliance. Starting to hunt for a Band-aid in a kitchen drawer full of junk, I decided to change the paper lining while at it. Sort of stirring things around, I began to take a look.
There were: about a hundred books of matches, two plumber’s candles, some fishing line, the cat’s ear drops, hand cream, Q-tips, a deck of cards, two pairs of sunglasses, the cellar door key, some catnip, five corks, the top hat from the monopoly set, and a cigar . . . screws, bolts, hooks and nails, a bottle of pink mullein seeds and a pair of trouser clips for biking. Three rolls of masking tape — one empty — one scotch tape, one pack of pipe cleaners, two magic markers and about three feet of thin brass chain for hanging plants.
A tube of Dent’s toothache cream, date unknown, one Mini-Mastermind game, two packets of wash-ups, one bottle of Elmer’s glue, a package of white shoe laces. Two bottles of Testor’s Pla-enamel, dried up. Nail clippers, a skeleton key, all the paraffin tops from last year’s jelly jars, 10 cents off coupons, rubber bands, paper clips, string, Baggie closures, pencils and dried up pens. An extremely small flashlight bulb, a pocket pencil sharpener, two transistor batteries, and four plastic strips to hold down porch furniture covers. (It’s a big drawer.)
The key to a house sold years ago, the key of some neighbors moved to another state, and the key of a friend’s apartment vacated five years ago. An art gum, a pocket comb, a yellow Christmas tree light. A packet of Collard and Bowser’s English toffee, a door knob that says “PULL” and a political button: “Remember Bidwell.”
There weren’t any Band-aids, so I took the pink mullein seeds and went out to the garden.
Jeanne Hewett is a fabric artist and freelance writer who lives in Vineyard Haven.