Wednesday, March 7, 2018

8 Pounds of Memories

8  Pounds of Memories in a Can

My beloved wife left me this weekend...
     She left me to watch a multitude of young Collegiate wrestlers in the prime of their lives (and singlets) compete for the opportunity to represent their Conference, their Team and themselves at the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Cleveland.
     Her absence left me with two dogs, three cats, four horses and myself all standing around in our skivvies staring at each other wondering how much beer we could consume, war movies we could watch, and openly debating if pizza was a three meal a day option.
     Before the nine of us could cut loose the “Honey Do” list had to be dealt with.  We all saw it lurking there on the frig beckoning to us like the dreaded chores on an early Saturday morning.    
      I laid waste to the horse waste, I beat the weeds into submission, the mold on the lower deck got the green power washed out of it.  I systematically scratched off item by item on said list seeing my plan coming together nicely. 
     Ol Righty, one more task and I can order the heart stopping, colin stretching, meat lovers Chicago style extra large pizza and hit up Dish for this weekend’s MMA fights. 
     Number 8  on the list looked innocent enough…
“Put decorative handle on refinished night stand.”
     No worries!  This will take ten minutes tops!  All I needed was a bolt and a nut...
     Quickly skating out to the garage in my stocking feet, seeing myself as Tom Cruise in "Risky Business", I arrived at my beloved tool bench.  The multitude of stickers from years past always welcoming.  
     Sizing up the requirement, I reached to the bottom shelf for... You guessed it!  That “Chock Full of Nuts” coffee can containing every sized screw, bolt, nut, washer, and those multi-colored hubalators that go at the end of the electric wiring.  In fact, some of this treasured collection was left to me by my Dad and maybe even his Father's Father.
     Holy Cow!  My family heirloom has anything this modern day world may need (or want).  And then some!
“Ahh, throw it in the can, never know when you’re gonna need it”, my Dad’s words echoed.
     Hoisting the treasure chest onto the bench, I winced under its sheer weight.  One of the dogs tilted his head wondering what the grinding popping sound was.  Yea, it was my back.  That sucker must go eight to ten pounds at least!  I've caught tournament winning bass that weighed less.
     Knowing exactly what my project called for, I began digging through the first layer. 
Then it happened...
The Cans magic had me.
It drew me in, right then and there.
I was under it’s spell.  Time became a mere concept.
     In the next 90 minutes the entire garage floor was strategically covered with ever article of hardware that Can had to offer.  
     I sorted them alphabetically by size, diameter, application, and relevance, creating a sheer Masterpiece of organizational efficiency.  Next time a project required anything known to man, I knew exactly where I could find it!

So did I find the right sized screw and bolt?  Of course not!  

     I’m sure I had only used it the week before.  But the inadvertent stroll down memory lane was well worth it.  Finding bits and pieces of my daughters 4H bird feeder, the angle iron from my son’s homemade pool table, and a bit of wood from the first book case my wife and I ever refinished.
     Who would have thought so many memories would be held in a 12to 18 pound collection of stuff?  
     But there they were, laid out in front of me beckoning to continue my leisurely stroll.  And I did…
     When the incantation wore off I realized I had totally missed my pizza/ fight window and may have a herniated disk.  I slid into the truck venturing off to Loews for the mythical bolt and nut to complete #8 on the list.    
     I grabbed a “Hot n Ready” pizza at the Little Caesar’s and headed back to the ranch. 
     Upon arrival to my famished animals I saw my wife’s car in garage.  
     “How could that be?”  I had my hardware jig saw puzzle laid out on that very floor!
     Skidding to a halt, I labored out of the truck to see my wife coming out to meet me.  
     “Hey Honey,” she beamed, “The tournament got done early.”
“I put all that stuff back in your Dads Coffee Can for you....”

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