Saturday, April 22, 2017

These Old Walkin' Shoes: Key to the Highway

We are still working on moving rooms around in the house. The younger girls' room is pretty much set, with just a little fine tuning remaining. It's nothing that would keep them out of the room even for a single night. Meanwhile in our bedroom, Wendy bought a bed from Bear Bottom. I had to set it up before Easter so that the hallway downstairs could be used while all the family members were over. The bed took up the whole hallway.

Part of setting up the new bed was cleaning out the remnants of what Corliss and Josephine left behind. There was a myriad of stuffed animals, toys, and some clothes. The Monday after Easter, Wendy and I spent the entire day attempting to get the room into order. The Saturday setup was just enough to get the bed out of the hallway and set up for sleeping. Monday was when all the real work was done.

We had an extra dresser which we now had room for in the new sleep center. I decided that I would use it for some of my clothes. Meanwhile, there were drawers of things from a couple smaller stands and dressers that needed to be cleaned out and consolidated. Somehow, no matter how often you try to keep those drawers cleaned, there is always treasure to be found.

I’m not sure if treasure is exactly the word, but it works for me in this instance. I found things I had forgotten about, and things I had no idea I had so many of. Drink chips. I found a lot of drink chips. There were more than I expected. I’m not sure if some of the ones from Groff’s will work anymore. But weirdly, I found a lot of keys.

We find keys everywhere, not just when we’re cleaning things out. They show up in the weirdest places. Nine times out of ten, we have absolutely no clue what they go to. Somehow, they just keep poppin up. Sometimes it’s more than a single key. In fact, at the bottom of a nightstand that we decided to get rid of, we found a ring of keys. They looked like the front door. I tried it. No love.

My guess is that they were the keys that were given to us when we bought the house. Of course, we immediately changed the locks, but held onto the keys. Is this a normal thing? Why would anyone keep keys to locks they no longer had? The only reason I can think of is that the key to the lock we used to have on the side gate was on that ring. Instead of taking that key off and tossing the others, we just kept them all. Add to that the fact that we’ve since taken the lock off the gate permanently and thrown away the lock. But we still have the key.

This isn’t just me. I can remember when I was younger, looking through the “junk drawers” of the china hutch at my parent’s house. There were keys in those drawers, too. The same thing happened at my grandmother’s house. In the dresser drawer on the back porch, there was a whole can of keys. What is the obsession with keeping these things?


We’ve been in our house for almost twenty years. Even after all this time, I still find little surprises from the previous owners. This happens a lot in the basement and the attic. In the ceiling of the basement, I’ve found little cans crammed into the joists. In those cans? Rusted nails and keys. The same thing happened in the attic. In the former darkroom, a workbench drawer had two keys stuck in the back of it. Why do we keep all these keys?


Our house has old doors that use those old skeleton keys. Each door has a nail at the top of the frame where the key could hang. Sometimes, the key was just “hidden” on top of the molding around the door. I guess you could say that keys are a part of the decor in our house. It’s probably like that in many houses. Or, my family has an obsession with keys.

How many of you have keys hanging around your junk drawers or in cans in the basement or garage? I could make an awesome wind chime out of the ones we have around here.

Craig Bacon has the keys to the rain. Maybe he should re-lock those ones for a little while.

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