My husband kept things.
He was born and spent his early years in Chilcotin communities, far away from hardware stores.
Prudent Chilcotin persons didn’t dare throw anything away, ever. They knew if they did they would rue it sooner or later.
All our family depended on him to fix things.
He could usually find whatever he needed in his parts department to make broken things usable again, changing a bearing seal, patching with duct tape, binder twine, or glue, whatever worked.
The late Harold Stuart, an acknowledged expert in the field of fixing things with whatever was handy, called this process “Mickey Mousing.”
When the family gathered recently to sort through their dad’s somewhat eclectic assortment of stuff, they found some treasures and some surprises.
Among the gadgets and gizmos were odd bits of wood (planks, plywood, and little pieces you could use for shims or brackets); machinery (many parts and one complete engine); tarps, tents, screws, nails, nuts and bolts of every size and description; ends of wire, rope, and some tools no one could identify.
They also found an unusual number of hammers (all kinds), vice grips, and tie downs. (You can never have too many?)
As anyone who has held or attended a garage sale knows, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure, but we haven’t figured out why he kept an old cast iron gear box. It must have had sentimental value.
During the sorting process the boys found a few things that obviously belong to me, like a big bagful of balls of wool.
But hey, I can’t part with that. I might start knitting again someday.
The election will be over when you read this, and Canada’s future will have been decided. What started as “why on Earth are we having this election?” turned out to be an interesting process after all.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.