Over 40 years ago, when it was evident I was going to actually attend college, my Dad gave me a gift. The Craftsman toolbox arrived in my bedroom full of like-named tools. I remember thinking it was odd as we both knew I didn’t know how to use them and had no interest in learning. I still have the box and some of the original tools, many of which look almost new and unused. I guess it was some sort of security net for me if college didn’t work out.
I carried the box with me to each of my four years at school, including a couple where I lived in a frat house. The tools got some use there mainly by guys who borrowed them. The box took on its own identity when a drunk girl threw up in it as it sat open in my bedroom closet. It smelled for years after that despite my attempts to clean it. I don’t know why she was in my closet and only guess what she was doing there.
Everywhere I have lived since the ’80s, the box has been with me. Each year a few tools are missing and one or two added by one of us. Today the box sits in our garage doing its job holding tools just waiting for some action. I see it every time I pull my car in to park. I think about it each time I see it.
I didn’t get along well with my father. He tried to reconcile with me before he died, but I wasn’t interested. That’s about the only credit I give him, trying. The box tries to do its job for me, but I am not much of a handyman. I keep it around just in case.