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A Junk Drawer for Comfort

One major junk drawer and two auxiliaries take up 30% of the drawers in my kitchen.

That’s a pretty big number.

(Don’t tell my friend, Kathi Lipp, who wrote the book Clutter Free).

Junk drawer, comfort, Sonoma County fires, Clutter Free, Kathi Lipp, paperclips, recovering from a fire, hurricane disastersI always felt a ashamed of those drawers until this week.

Junk and the fires

Here in northern California, we’re still dealing with (and will continue for a very long time) the after-affects of the October 2017 fires.

5200 structures burned down over a two-week period, most destroyed the first night.

Many friends lost their homes (27 families from our church alone).

We’re all grappling with what that means, and how best to help and support our friends.

When you drive through the fire areas (gingerly and with the greatest respect, if not tears), you see a lot of junk.

Most are the remains of homes.

Many folks, as a result, have lost the comfort and normalcy of that word home.

Heavy dump trucks clutter the roads these days. They’re busy hauling literally tons of material to a landfill 15 miles from my still-standing house, every single day.

It’s sobering for us who did not lose our homes; a constant reminder to those who did.

We talk about the fires all the time.

For most people, home is a place to go at the end of the day. It’s a comfortable dwelling where you can relax and function as “normal.”

Normal.

Such a common word and yet one that engenders longing in my community today.

Comfort and the junk drawer.

Four months following the “October events,”  tasks continue to mount and emotions can be close to the surface–for survivors and their friends alike.

Even the smartest, calmest, most devout fire survivors I know struggle with the monumental task of putting not just their homes, but their lives back together.

(We can use prayers for peace, comfort and that return to normal here in northern California, thank you. But they’re also desperately needed in Puerto Rico, Florida, Houston, southern California and many other places.)

Junk drawer, comfort, Sonoma County fires, Clutter Free, Kathi Lipp, paperclips, recovering from a fire, hurricane disastersOur friend K recently articulated her desire for something, anything, normal.

Another Sunday school teacher, E, obliged.

She filled a metal tin with the contents of her junk drawer and gave it to K.

Who laughed and laughed and hugged it close.

Who could have guessed that something we all (perhaps with guilt) take for granted, could be a source of comfort?

Paperclips, rubber bands, tape, odd pencils, gum, coupons and a pair of scissors.

Who would have guessed such an assortment could bring comfort–though laughter makes perfect sense!

(Please do not send junk drawer material to friends who are wrestling with the aftermath of a natural disaster–unless they want them!)

What’s in your junk drawer?

A junk drawer represents the odds and ends of your life.

It contains items you use now and then but don’t need to think about every day.

Some experts think everyone can benefit by having a drawer for junk.

Others believe they can provide a focus for family time and evaluation.

Junk drawer, comfort, Sonoma County fires, Clutter Free, Kathi Lipp, paperclips, recovering from a fire, hurricane disasters

At my house, scissors belong in a cup, not a drawer.

For most of us in the first world, it’s just nice to know there’s a normal spot for odd things, even if they don’t have a place in particular.

Do I really need to have three?

I’m going to follow Kathi Lipp’s advice and clean out at least one.

Though, do birthday candles count as junk? Where do you keep them at your house?

Note: upon reviewing the junk drawers in my house–including those outside of the kitchen–I think I’m in trouble. Or very comfortable.

How about you?

Tweetables

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After a natural disaster: the normalcy of a junk drawer. Click to Tweet

How can a junk drawer be a source of comfort after a natural disaster? Click to Tweet

 

Junk drawer, comfort, Sonoma County fires, Clutter Free, Kathi Lipp, paperclips, recovering from a fire, hurricane disastersMy monthly newsletter comes out in the middle of the month. If you’d like to sign up (the newsletter includes a link to my free Ebook, Writing about Biddy and Oswald Chambers), you can do so here.

 

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