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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Christopherson column: One junk drawer is off-limits, for obvious reasons

  • On the plus side, maybe we should be grateful that the drawer isn't overloaded with shards of broken glass, or 16-penny nails, or razor blades.
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  • On the plus side, maybe we should be grateful that the drawer isn't overloaded with shards of broken glass, or 16-penny nails, or razor blades.
    It happened again the other morning, before we all ventured off to work and school. As is typical, my wife and I sought to empty the remaining coffee from the morning's pot into our thermal mugs. I use the same mug every day because it keeps coffee hotter for longer than any mug I've ever tried. My wife? She'll forget to bring mugs home from the office for several days, until her supply in our kitchen is depleted and she feels compelled to bring home a bag full of mugs from work.
    On this morning, we were scraping the bottom of the barrel of our thermal mug inventory. She grabbed one, but couldn't find the corresponding lid.
    Our kitchen storage strategy is such that it ceases to be a strategy at all. It's to the point that no less than four different drawers could potentially have been home to the lid my wife was seeking. One of the drawers has a mix of thermal mugs and lids, along with some TupperWare. The one below it has smaller plastic bowls and lids, maybe a thermal mug or two, and maybe a large utensil. The drawer below that has some thermal mugs and lids, some larger plastic bowls, and big squeeze bottles the boys like to use. The fourth drawer has some measuring cups, maybe some fancy napkins or placemats and, you guessed it, periodically a thermal mug or two.
    She never found the lid she needed, but by then the coffee in her cheap plastic mug was practically room temperature, so she just guzzled it.
    It doesn't have to be this way.
    The night prior to the morning that featured our mug-induced malady, my wife wanted to separate the four Pirate 2013-14 activity passes that she'd purchased, two for us and two for the boys. She'd had them laminated, but they needed to be cut into four separate passes. She needed a pair of scissors and, knowing how our kitchen storage pattern works, she ventured to the other side of the room, opposite from the series of junk drawers that contain a mixture of plastic containers and thermal mugs.
    The four drawers on the other side of the kitchen that I'm singling out here, they qualify as true junk drawers. I won't go into too much detail on what's typically found in them, because chances are you have a couple of junk drawers at your house that make you wake up in a cold sweat every now and then when nightmarish thoughts of someone outside your immediate family actually opening one of them and taking a gander at the contents dance across your mind.
    Page 2 of 2 - We have a long magnet on a kitchen wall home to several knives and, often, you'll find some scissors stuck to it, too, but not on this day. So my wife looked in the very top junk drawer and tossed some of the contents around with her hand, to no avail. A couple more drawers were opened, revealing things like batteries that expired in 1997, old film rolls and pens that haven't flowed with ink since New Kids on the Block ruled the radio were tossed about. Still, no scissors.
    Things were getting desperate, and yet one drawer remained closed. Years ago, it became our chosen storage place for various cords and chargers for cell phones and other electronic devices. It was never allowed to devolve into a true junk drawer, mostly because, as many will agree, a family's household climate can accelerate to a World War III tension level in no time if someone can't find his smart phone charger within 10 seconds of commencing a search. Or is it just me?
    A minute or so later, I found a pair of scissors on the shelf next to the washer and dryer in the basement. For good measure, I even found a second pair in the kitchen, right where they were supposed to be...under a coupole newspapers stacked on top of the pizza oven.
    That drawer with all the cords and chargers? Pretty much everything in it is obsolete by now. New phones, iPods, an iPad, and a Kindle, etc. have been purchased over time and we're each kind of in charge of our own cords and adapters now. And no one wants to invite the trouble that would come with storing a new and/or functional cord or charger in that drawer.
    Why? Can koozies. On top of the rat's nest of old cords, chargers and adapters in that drawer, over the years around 1,500 can koozies have accumulated, courtesy of all the golf scrambles, charity events or other activities in which my wife and/or I have participated that involve door prizes and other assorted freebies. In that drawer, the can koozies over the years have become nothing less than spring-loaded, and anyone who makes the mistake of pulling it open knows that he risks losing an eye and faces a major clean-up effort, thanks to the squishy innovation that keeps beverages cold, but multiplies faster than Will Hunting.

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