Welcome to the . . .

. . . where this month’s exhibit features, well, what some people might refer to as . . . junk! Yes. This month’s Museum of Me prompt has us revealing old, worn-out things that we simply cannot part with.

I’m gonna admit that this one was a real head-scratcher for me at first. I’m not a real holder-onto-er of stuff that’s old and worn out. I mean . . . I definitely keep some sentimental things, and I treasure them. But my personal bar for “keeping” is set pretty high. As in, well. I part with a lot of stuff (and I have no regrets). That said, I do tend to keep a few things that are probably nearing the end of their useful life (thus old and worn-out) . . . but I just keep using them.

So it hit me the other day . . . as I was flipping pancakes . . . that I do have a few oddball items in my life. If you look at these random things, they might look like old, worn-out things. And you might wonder why I’m holding on to these pieces of . . . junk. But, to me, none of them are junk. These things might be old, but they still serve a useful purpose. And I can’t part with them.

A spatula, a hammer, and a strainer.


This spatula has been around for a long, long time. It was a shower gift . . . for my mom . . . back in 1956. Originally, it was part of a multi-utensil set that also included a ladle, a 2-pronged fork, and a potato masher. The handles are melamine (they were 1950s orange originally; now they’re . . . an old and faded shade of dull red), and the utensils themselves were substantial. Made to last. (And they did.)

When I watched my mom cook, these were the utensils I saw her use. When I learned the basics of cooking as a young teenager, these were the utensils I used. When I did the dishes, these were the utensils I washed. (In fact, that spatula? It’s the very one I hit my sister in the face with – on purpose – as we bickered about doing the dishes one night as surly teens.) (We were never at our best when forced to do dishes together. Just sayin.)

When my mom died, and I needed to downsize my dad’s life, I kept the spatula for myself. Not only is it sort of sentimental for me, but . . . it is one GREAT spatula! It’s substantial while also being thin. It has a good heft and “feel.” Nothing is better for flipping a pancake. The handle looks pretty bad now — it’s discolored, there’s a big chip on one corner (NOT from the aforementioned incident between sisters, mind you), and there is a burn mark on the back from where it met with a hot burner.

It’s old. It’s worn out. I can’t part with it. (And I still use it.)


This hammer, my goodness. It’s been around even longer than that spatula! (My dad, the hammer’s prior-to-me-owner, cannot recall – or never knew – its provenance.) It’s a smaller hammer; fairly lightweight. The handle (while a bit of a chipped mess there) is super smooth . . . from years and years of use. It’s been “repaired” (or something; probably had a new handle at one point, maybe?). Anyway. It’s been . . . around.

When I was a little girl, I used to spend time with my dad as he tinkered around with various projects in his basement workroom. He gave me my “own” tools — that very hammer (which was old then, and looked just like it does now), a little screwdriver, and leftover scraps of wood, nails, and screws. He didn’t really instruct much, and he didn’t direct my efforts. He just let me go for it – on my own – right there on his workroom floor. I didn’t really make anything, but I did a lot of nail-pounding. (And it kept me quiet and out of his hair.) (Even as a surly teen, I turned to nail-pounding when I needed to let off a little steam.)

When I went to college, my dad put together a little “tool kit” for me — and it included that little hammer. I’ve kept it ever since. Although Tom has quite a collection of hammers in different sizes and for different purposes, I always prefer my little hammer whenever I have any hammering to do.

It’s old. It’s worn out. I can’t part with it. (And I still use it.)


This strainer, oh it is a sad little piece of equipment. This strainer was part of a wedding shower gift for me – back in 1981. It was part of a set similar to the one my mom received — although not nearly as well made. Certainly not made to last. The handle is plastic with a “veggie decal” stuck on, and the only companion piece that remains is my potato masher. (The strainer and the potato masher remain because they didn’t get much use in my kitchen.) As you can see, this strainer is rusty and badly smooshed . . . and really kinda gross looking.

Over the years, I haven’t really had much call for using a small strainer like this, so mostly it just sits toward the back of my utensil drawer. Just in case. Once, Tom used it to help retrieve one of my contact lenses from the drain in the bathroom sink. I’ve used it to strain lemon seeds from the juices sometimes. And I use it now and then to sprinkle powdered sugar over baked goods. It’s ugly. But it still serves a purpose. I have a bigger strainer — newer, more substantial, not rusty. But I keep this little, rusty one around, too.

It’s old. It’s worn out. And for some reason, I can’t seem to part with it. (And I do still use it.) (Just not very often.)

One person’s junk; another person’s treasure!


How about you? What old, worn-out thing do you have in your life . . . that you just can’t bear to part with?


Thanks for visiting the Museum of Me. Watch for new exhibits . . . on the 2nd Friday of each month. If you’re a blogger and you’d like to create a Museum of Me along with me on your own blog, let me know. I’ll send you our “exhibit schedule” (a list of monthly prompts) and we can tell our stories together.