December 28, 2006

Waste not want not

When I was little my Dad saved bent nails and he taught me to pound them straight with a hammer and use them again. It was fun. I still save bent nails. I am sure Dad has a dozen good handfulls of bent nails in the basement at home waiting for me.

The husband of my wife's dear aunt passed away a few years ago and I was asked to help clean out his workshop in the basement. I am kind of a pack rat when it comes to tools and such, and so was this guy. Today I put up a new system of shelves in my workroom-- based on those fine little crates that hold two bottles of wine apiece, received as gifts, and I was putting my containers of screws and nails in order before putting them onto the new shelves. Of course I had saved all of the crazy fasteners I got from the aunt's basement (take it! she said, take it all!), like nine inch square nails and aluminum ringed nails with rubber gaskets under the heads and tiny copper nails. And I ran across a little box of upholstery tacks. They look like thumbtacks except with larger, patterned heads, and every single one of them was bent. This guy had saved them, (imagine the swearing that must have gone into bending two dozen upholstery tacks!), and then I took over responsibility for them until they can be put to use. Today I decided I had had enough and in a rash moment threw out that box of bent upholstery tacks from 1953, and I know someday I'm going to regret it. But for one thing they would be just about impossible to straighten and for another, if I ever do need upholstery tacks, well then for goodness sakes I will simply save up my pennies and buy a box.


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