My dad died 14-1/2 years ago at the age of 91 and, finally, my mom has let me start cleaning out his work room.  I could have done it earlier, but both out of respect for her wishes and not really wanting to confront the task, I waited for her permission.

In there are lots of tools and lots of miscellaneous hardware, all well organized, properly stored and clearly labelled.  He grew up on a 5000 acre farm where going to the hardware store was an all day trip, so he learned to save everything useful so it would be available…and “findable”–a little extra space that saved a day’s time was a very good trade.  In the city, it was only 5 minutes to the hardware store, but his old habits never died.

Hinges, screws, nails, bolts, nuts, weather stripping, paint brushes, pipe wrenches, and all manner of other hand tools.  An entire 91 year long lifetime of stuff.

For many of the items I can remember riding in the car with him to go buy them and I can remember the project that needed those items.

I pick them up, remember, smile…and then I throw them away.  The jars with a couple of screws go into the recycle bin while the bigger items go to a salvage place.

I shed a “silent tear”…and every few seconds, I repeat the process.

I wonder if this is the fate of all memories.


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