Thursday, March 4, 2010

Keys, Keys, Keys--One Of Harry's Hobbies


The mind is a funny thing sometimes. As forgetful as my dad was, he could remember what each key was for and he had a whole lot of them. For awhile, he even had a little locksmith business going after he retired. He spent a lot of money on this endeavor, which my mother was not happy about, just so he could help people who needed a lock or key. Sometimes he’d be called on to help someone who locked themselves out of the car or house. Often the church would ask him to change their locks and make more keys for them. He did it so often that the Pastor’s son referred to him as the “key man.” Dad always liked to have his clump of keys hanging on his belt, all of them—they were too heavy to keep in a pocket! This was his main reason why he didn’t want the sweat pants I bought for him.

The very first key I ever got from my dad was for a ladder dime bank. It went to a little tiny lock that fit on the bank that said “turn dimes into dollars.” I got a lot of use out of that and saved a lot of dollars over the years with it. That key was a very tiny silver one with notches on both sides. I even had a diary with a lock on it, but I never bothered locking it—I never really wrote anything very interesting in there. During the 80s, I painted a big plaster key for dad that he hung in his living room! I tried selling it but no one else wanted it so today it hangs in my hallway. I'm glad I still have it.

When I was cleaning out my dad’s house after his death, I kept finding more and more locks. He had them stacked in three different places in the basement along with locksmith binders and two really old key making machines. The locks were so old by then that even the locksmith had no use for them because he couldn’t guarantee them. I also found some colored key holders that are supposed to help you remember what the keys are for, but they were kind of clunky and I didn’t find them all that useful so didn’t keep using them.

I wonder how he was able to remember what all his keys were all for. It took me a whole morning to label the keys and try to figure out what they all were for. I don’t have near the number of keys he had but do have a few that I have no idea what locks they work. One is even in my change purse! I know it’s not a car key. It might be an old house key. Maybe it’s my secretary key, I’ll have to try that. I have a couple others in my squirrel box on my dresser that are a mystery to me too. Now at church I have a cupboard I can use for my Sunday School class with another key to keep track of—oh goody! I’m trying to think where to keep it—maybe in my Sunday purse. I think I’m going to tag it first though, that should help me remember its purpose!

How do you remember what all your keys are for and where do you keep them?

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4 comments:

Lin said...

We had a ton of keys sitting in our junk drawer until I got mad one Saturday and set out to find out what they were for. We ran from this door to that figuring out what keys were for what. I bought a key holder thing with labels for each key and now we are organized! We tossed the old keys and now there aren't any stragglers anymore!

(We had some doors changed a few years back when we put an addition on, so we knew the keys were for those old doors--that's why we were comfortable tossing them. Just in case you were wondering.)

www.thehusaileybunch.com said...

Hey there, stopping by from SITS! Gonna stay a bit and look around!! Hope you're having a great weekend!

Frugal Vicki said...

Saw you on SITS! It isn't so much the keys I need that bug me on where they are, it is the keys that I had given to people that I don't remember who I gave them to for emergencies. oops!

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Lin: I should label our keys. I tried but the labels wore off.

the Husailey bunch: Thanks for stopping by!

Frugal Vicki: That could be a problem. After my dad died I gave a key to his house to his neighbor so they could let some workmen in and the neighbor lost the key! Never did find it.

"My Funny Dad, Harry" Book Giveaway

Congratulations to all the winners of the giveaway for "My Funny Dad, Harry" at Red Pine Mountain. I am so happy that four of my regular commenters won! Read what Tim thought of it at Everyday Living.