• A top drawer collection

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I used to think my late stepfather was the master packer. Two hitches in the U.S. Navy taught him how to stow anything and everything in cramped places most ordinary people would never think to try filling with assorted bric-a-brac.

Today, my wife inherited his mantle.

It was one of those lazy spring Sundays, a day when it was still too early to dig into the garden, but not to dig into a long-unopened drawer. This one was in a dining room sidetable, the one that supports a set of pewter Jefferson cups, a set of antique glasses and decanter, and an iron clock from the historical Ansonia clockworks in Connecticut. In themselves, those are interesting items, but they are mundane compared to what The Woman To Whom I Am Related By Marriage had managed to neatly pack into the long, narrow drawer beneath them.

We all have what we lovingly refer to as a “junk drawer.” I prefer to think of such cubbyholes as troves of undiscovered treasures, things that revive memories, pique one’s curiosity, or simply leave you scratching your head. Her collection, for example, has all of those things.

To wit:

• 10 pre-Euro Irish coins of various denominations.

• A business card from the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas where we had renewed our wedding vows lo those many years ago in front of an Elvis impersonator.

• Several boxes of note cards — 2 with cats, 1 from Colonial Williamsburg, 1 with recipes, 1 with New York City scenes, 1 with lighthouses of Cape Cod, 1 with scenes of Merishausen, Switzerland, which we had briefly visited, and 1 with a silly party invitation theme.

• One small carton of stick-on notes.

• One packet of 500 corner-stickers for adhering photos to album pages.

• 200 white notebook hole reinforcements.

• Self-adhesive vinyl doorstop bumpers.

• Pictures of the vases and a price list for Kinsale Irish Crystal we’d picked up in that Irish city.

• A card from painter Kely Knowles of the Rock Harbor Art Studio in Cape Cod, whose work hangs on our walls.

• Packets of various stamps — from France, Jamaica and U.S. commemoratives of Marilyn Monroe.

• Scotch tape.

• Felt stickers.

• Many candles.

• A heart-shaped glass bowl embossed with “25 – I ♥ NY – George E. Pataki Governor.”

• A collection of rubber bands.

• 8 replacement bulbs for holiday electric candles.

• Cape Cod Trivia cards.

• Bridal gifts of silver bottle stops.

• Florist tape and wire for making floral arrangements.

• A flat-candle holder.

• An invitation to a wedding in 2006.

• A pair of Groucho glasses, complete with large nose, mustache and bushy eyebrows.

Top that.

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About Bill Dowd

Webmaster/social media coordinator for the Southern Rensselaer County NY Rotary Club.

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