The Clutter Project – Day 1 – Dad’s Workshop


HardwareDay 1 – Dad’s Workshop

This is an interesting process to say the least. Decisions at every turn. What might I use in the future and what can be discarded, given, sold, or thrown. If the afternoon progresses as I hope it will, I will be able to start filling the dumpster I have rented for the purpose.

My dad’s workshop is a veritable treasure trove of useful items, redundant useful items, as well as things I’m sure even he forgot he had and even if he had not forgotten, I wonder if he remembered their purpose. Such are the arcane remnants of a lifetime.

There are ammo boxes filled with springs, many ammo boxes of springs. Where had they come from I wondered absently. My parents, and theirs before them, were the original preppers and as such, I’m certain they knew that someday these springs might mean the difference between solution A and no solution at all. I can’t quite envision the exact moment when 100-year-old springs might save my life but one never knows. Put them on the keep side of the room for now I guess.

And then there are the Model A mechanic’s tools. My very first driving experience was with the Model A my granddad had fitted with an open bed and I was allowed to drive through the woods as I mastered the intricacies of shifting and down-shifting and rocking to release the tires from the quicksand like mud into which I had driven, or landed probably. So the tools, wrenches and such, are still in the workshop although the beloved old Model A is rotting in the dump at the back of the land along with tin cans and old bottles and saw blades with not enough steel left to form any teeth, the handles for these errant saws tucked away someplace in the workshop, I have no doubt, put there to await their eventual resurrection when the need arose. Maybe I can sell the tools on Ebay??? But then again, a tool is a tool and you never know which might be just the one to get you out of some mechanical jam, so to speak. Better hold on to those.

My dad was a tool hound so the walls are covered with an array of hand, power and battery operated pieces of equipment, each in their special place or boxed on a shelf. I guess I inherited my love of tools from him so as I peruse the array, I find it difficult to part with any of them. Who knows what might come in handy some day in the future. I am sorely tempted to toss the three Black & Decker battery-powered hedge trimmers (batteries not included) but even as I examine these, I am thinking that the trimming edge might be useful if removed from the plastic housing. I’m not sure what for but better safe than sorry.

Moving on to hardware…..enough said. None of that can be forsaken for the sole purpose of removing clutter.

Wire, cable, extension cords, assorted lengths of tubing, copper and plastic, chain links, and string and rope and……it goes on an on.

Then my dad’s first (and only as far as I know) Machinists Tool Box, the one he bought when he worked in the machine gun division of Colt’s, made of oak with drawers lined in green felt. There is a small mirror built into top. How many years has it been since he might have opened that box to find just the right gauge or tap? I open each of the drawers to inspect the contents and in the very bottom I find a thin stack of letters. The rubber band that held them together has turned into a rigid snake-like piece of brown releasing it’s package from the originally intended bondage. Letters, private letters between a husband and his wife and she to him. I question my right to read such intimacies that might be written but in the end I decide that I think they might have liked me to read them so I began. Several hours pass, memories flood my thoughts, tears are shed, smiles are rewarded and my connection to those who created me is renewed once again. To discard those would be like tearing the past out of my life. So, like the steward that I am, I carefully put them in my bag to bring into the house where they will join their brethren as footsteps through people’s lives.

There are a couple old B&W TVs and rabbit ears – those will definitely find their way to the trash. Even if they work, I have no cable connection nor a roof antenna so it would be impossible to get any signal down here in the valley. It gives me some satisfaction that at least one thing will be tossed. A small victory.

In the end of this afternoon, I have thrown out 2 TV’s, a half-dozen drill bits that are too short to resharpen, a handful of bent and rusty 6 penny nails, a container of old hand pumice that has separated and smells like old sneakers, a broken hasp, some old, dead D Size batteries, a few rolls of rotted green plastic webbing my dad used to repair lawn chairs. I haven’t exactly filled the dumpster but I still have a whole house, basement, attic and garage to go.

The process is much like looking over our many children as they sleep and trying to decide which we will sacrifice to the service of the landlord so that he will allow us a portion of his land. An impossible choice so the decision is not to choose any at all, keeping each in their accustomed place.

Well, the workshop was a really bad place to start but maybe I’ll be more successful in the attic.

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About Dee Dickson


One response to “The Clutter Project – Day 1 – Dad’s Workshop

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