Junk Drawers

Junk Drawers: Swoon 15

Our breakfast room was the pantry in the old days (when people had help and dedicated pantry rooms). Ceiling high shelves for the china, drawers and drawers for the silver. A small room to prep food before serving it in the formal dining room. We used the pantry in our home as our… eating room, craft room, game room, tv room… you know, the great room off the kitchen… except it was like 6×9.

The shelves housed my grandma’s china and glassware. She had many china patterns… Thanksgiving, 25th wedding anniversary, everyday florals… you name it. There were glasses of every size and shape, I have no idea how they had time to use all of these glasses, they lived in a walk up apartment in Queens. Anyway, the drawers held our stuff. One was for checkbooks and dad things, one was for everyday junk (paper clips, pens, white out, rubber bands, penny rolls), another was for school papers and keepsakes, one for glitter, sharpies (when they only came in black and red), gift wrapping supplies and the “good” scissors… and then each of us kids had our OWN drawers. There was sibling drawer etiquette, one did NOT go in other peoples drawers. I sooo wanted to go in my older sisters drawer but something just kept me from doing it, probably the fact that someone was always in that room. If we were ever missing something, a book, a barbie shoe, a birthday card with a 5 dollar bill… we could bet that mom put it in our drawer because “things can’t be lying around the house forever”… it all went in your drawer.

After school we would have a snack in the breakfast room… picking out the marshmallow bits from cereal, cookies, fruit, while watching the tiny back and white tv balanced on the step stool in the corner. I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch… the classics. Then some homework, games, dinner, and maybe more tv. The World Book Encyclopedias were there (I knew my parents must be rich, we owned encyclopedias), and those drawers of stuff that had anything you might need, just waiting for the next project.

There were many rainy days when the entertainment was going through those drawers… finding old stamps, Horn & Hardart pins (from when my great aunt Carrie worked there), pencils from my grandparents liquor store, little self promo calendars from the 40s that had thermometers on them, pipe cleaners in a tin (literal pipe cleaners, not the glittery ones), rubber cement (did you ever take rubber cement and smear on the table then light on fire and watch burn, sigh, or coat your hands with it and peel it off to see your hand and fingerprints)…sigh…it was the 70s, we made our own fun.

We don’t have a junk drawer, we kind of have a junk house. We have stuff all over. Antique reminders of life from the 50s are everywhere, you can find a lipstick or paper clip in every single room. Our kitchen counter is a catch all… I guess that is the closest we come to a junk drawer. I imagine a little kid would find this pile of randomness just as magical. Stuff just sitting around waiting for someone to need it.

Our kitchen junk shelf… can you find: a victorian Christmas ornament kit, lipsticks, deodorant, magnet poetry, a gift card for a South Dakota grocery store, an eco friendly spork, cat treats, glitter, a paint brush, a lighter, a deflated balloon decorated to look like garlic bread for a garlic bread birthday party (of course), National Geographic magazine, a lone piece of gum, arnica pills, eyeglass cleaner, cat claw clippers, a kazoo, thumbtacks, a shopping list for Armenian boreg, the movie spinal tap, a hammer/screwdriver combo, a handmade card, hair gel… a forever changing game of ispy… enjoy.

Published by Kat

A mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a graphic designer. I am flawed... but I try.

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