We tore out the old kitchen pantry last week to make room for new kitchen cabinets. It wasn’t actually a pantry. It was more of a small closet built into one corner of the kitchen. Over the last 20 plus years it filled up with a rambling assortment of household odds and ends.

Many of them I had forgotten we had. Some, I never saw before. The old blender was stuck in the back of one of the shelves. I don’t know why I put it there. It stopped working several years ago. Maybe I was just following my grandfather’s philosophy: “Never throw anything away. You might need it some day.”

There were lots of pots and pans. Some of them I actually use on a regular basis. Others, I hadn’t seen in years. The pans I use all have lids. Most of the forgotten pans didn’t, which is probably the reason I stopped using them. I don’t know why I saved them either. Maybe I thought the lids would show up some day.

There were also a lot of stray lids that didn’t belong to any of the pans I had. I don’t know where they came from. Maybe they were left behind after some potluck supper where everyone came and brought something in pans. When they went home they took the pans, but forgot the lids. Maybe the pans they go to are sitting unused in their pantries now.

There were also a number of canning jars. Mason, mostly, although a couple were Ball jars. They didn’t have lids either. I used to can tomatoes and applesauce. That was years ago when I had apple trees and planted a garden. My apple trees died a long time ago, and I buy my tomatoes now from an Amish family in the neighborhood. It costs less in the long run, and I don’t have to weed them.

There were also a lot of plastic storage containers, the kind you put leftovers in so you can keep them for a couple of months in your refrigerator. They didn’t have lids either. Every once in a while I clean out my refrigerator. I always find a bunch of these leftover containers. I have no idea why I would save three green beans.

There was a large stack of storage container lids on one of the shelves, but they didn’t fit any of the containers I had. Maybe they came from some of those potluck suppers too.

I found several dog leashes hanging on the wall inside the pantry door. I don’t remember which dogs they were for. We’ve had several over the years.

There were a couple stacks of dish towels on one of the shelves. They sat in two rows. We always used the ones in front. The stack in back had been sitting there, untouched for years. I found two of my handkerchiefs folded in with them. I was happy about that. You can never have too many handkerchiefs, and I’m always losing mine. I don’t know whether that has anything to do with potluck suppers or not. Probably not.

The biggest find was vases. There were dozens of them. All sizes, shapes and colors. We may have had some of them when we moved into the house years ago. But I think most of them came from garden club meetings. My wife belongs to two garden clubs and she always comes home with vases filled with flowers.

I’ll keep the vases. I enjoy growing flowers and putting them in vases throughout the house. I also like to take a vase of flowers as a thank you gift when people invite us to dinner. Besides, that also helps enlarge their vase collection.

I don’t think I’ll keep the broken blender though. And I can’t think of any reason to hang on to all those lidless storage containers. I haven’t decided about the pots and pans yet. After all, who knows what the next potluck supper might bring.

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