Things Worth Keeping

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “If I Had a Hammer.”

If you could learn a trade — say carpentry, electrical work, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, flooring, drywall — you name it — what skill(s) would you love to have in your back pocket?

As usual, I am not going to answer this prompt as asked… but it did remind me of a story.  So bear with me…

The ultimate handyman, my dad built a lot of things for me.  He built huge bookshelves to accommodate my book addiction that started at such a young age.  He built a beautiful dollhouse that was my pride and joy for many years.  He lovingly crafted every detail from the shingles to the shutters to the curtains to the furniture.  And he built two matching bunk-beds for my baby dolls.  They had wooden frames with mattresses and matching pillows.  They were sturdy but also light enough that I could drag them from room to room during play.  I adored them.

At some point early in my teenage years, the bunk-beds made their way into the basement along with my dolls and other childhood toys.  My parents kept a lot of my things,  my dad was careful to pack them in a way to protect them from moisture and time.  But after I left for college, the bunk-beds found themselves in my parents’ yard sale.  Considering the amount of my junk that they kept, I don’t know why the beds had to go.  But I do have a guess.  My dad, as talented as he is, is also humble and his own worst critic.  He probably didn’t think the beds were worth keeping.

Fast forward fifteen years.  As an adult I had moved back to my hometown and had a toddler daughter of my own.  A daughter who, I might add, thought her grandpa hung the moon.

His church was having a parish-wide yard sale.  The parish high school gym was crammed full of donations – clothes, furniture, toys, household items.  My dad was there helping sort through things and organize the day before the sale opened.  As he maneuvered his way through the narrow paths among the clutter, he spotted them.  He recognized his own handiwork and the familiar pattern on the mattresses and pillows – the bunk-beds that he had made for me when I was a little girl.  And they were still in good condition.  What a small world.  Thinking of my daughter, he brought them back home.

Fast forward another eight years or so and guess where those beds are today?  Yes, in my house, in our playroom.  My younger daughter loves baby dolls and so these beds are a treasure to her.  She will bring them from the playroom into her bedroom so that her dolls can have a sleepover.  Or she will balance one on a skateboard for a makeshift gurney when she is playing doll hospital.  They are definitely worth keeping.



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