Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More reorganization

So, now that the big cabinet is together and in place, and the shelves are up, I've been going through the process of sorting through things and deciding where they're going to go. And I decided that part of that process would involve going through the metal parts bin that used to belong to my maternal grandfather.

The parts bin is basically a big metal chest of 24 small drawers, to organize small parts. And like too many parts bins that I've seen that belonged to grandfathers, or anyone who had a shop for a long time, there was almost no way to know what was in it. At first, it wasn't really very approachable, since none of the drawers were labeled, and almost every one of them contained a mix of bizarre things, from screw and nails to wheel bearings for a truck, a pair of small, hand carved bronze roosters, screen door parts, or electrical supplies. It was an adventure every time.

After a while, it became something like my own personal oracle. Many traditional oracles, like tarot cards, or the I Ching, involve some activity on the part of the person seeking answers, like shuffling a deck of cards, or flipping a series of coins. It always seems to involve an element of chance, tempered by the belief that somehow, some metaphysical part of...whatever... is guiding hte actions of that person, and helping them to shuffle or flip correctly, to give the proper result. The result is then translated into a given answer. Sometimes the answer makes sense, and sometimes not, but the process of trying to understand it will usually help the seeker understand more about their thoughts, hopes, and feelings. And after some thought and introspection, the seeker is supposedly better able to handle whatever it is that they were concerned about.

Grand-dad's box of old parts was like that once in a while. I'd pull open a drawer, filled with mixed parts, in the hopes of finding something to help me fix whatever I was working on. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't, and sometimes I had to scratch my head for a while to figure out how to make something work with whatever was in there. And sometimes the brass roosters would pop up. I'm sure he knew what was in there, more or less, where it came from, and which drawer held what, but I had no freakin' clue. And finding usable parts in the bin has been like that for just over a year now.

Well, no more. I finally got around to pulling out all the drawers, sorting through the stuff that's in there, and organizing it into something that made sense. And after that, I labeled all the drawers. Nails, screws, random fasteners, and so forth. It's not quite as fanciful as the system that I had before, and it's probably not as interesting to write about. But it certainly makes it easier to find what I was looking for.

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