Nostalgia vs. letting go
I have a story to share about a step stool. The story began sometime in my childhood. Don’t recall exactly when the shining new step stool showed up in our kitchen closet taking its rightful place along with the broom, mop, bucket, and other cleaning essentials which seemed to wear out on a regular basis. Not the step stool. It was a competent companion.
A handy thing that step stool was—to reach a ceiling light bulb, to get a curtain down or hang one up. It extended our reach for those items on the top shelf that otherwise would not see the light of day. Favorite times were at Christmas to place the star atop the tree and to hang the tinsel rather than throwing the silvery strands and hoping they would land on those hard-to-reach branches.
As with anything, in time the step stool showed signs of age with paint spots and scuff marks on the black rubber steps, along with some oxidation on the chrome legs. That’s what gave it character and turned a mass-produced item into a family treasure.
Fast forward to 2008 when the step stool became mine after my mother passed away. Each time I used it, I was reminded of childhood days which made me smile. Imagine how I felt when I realized I left the step stool in my carport and it was not there the next day. While a friend gifted me a nice new one at Christmastime, I missed that lifelong step-stool friend—the one with lots of memorable history.
Now, fast forward to last month. Picture it. I had just backed into my carport and was wrapping up a hands-free phone call. That’s when I noticed a man looking at a step stool propped against the wall in the trash bin area. Not sure if he brought the step stool or was just admiring it while out for a walk. Regardless, he put it between the trash bin and the wall next to it.
Feeling the step stool looked familiar even at a distance, I quickly wrapped up my call. Sure enough, the paint splotches were exactly where I last remembered them and other than a little more rust, my step-stool friend was still going strong.
It doesn’t matter how it disappeared, I’m just thrilled to have it back. While detachment has merit, so does vintage and nostalgia. Now I’m wondering if a cherished scarf left in one of the washers months ago will also magically turn up. That’s a story for another time.