5am. I awoke thinking of trauma and survival borne through our DNA. My maternal grandparents survived the Depression in rural Missouri. It changed the way they lived. Even later on, with enough to pay bills, travel, and financially secure, they saved. Carefully stacked slivered soaps. Toasted stale Fritos (I loved those warm Fritos and didn't understand until years later they were revived from the brink, crisped with heat and close attention, savored). It wasn't just good enough. It was good. It was delicious. It was love.
They made do. They made better. Grandma sewed, altered, mended. Grandpa mowed the lawn with an old whirling manual. (Man, that thing was a workout. At ten, I struggled, nearly horizontal, pushing, pushing, go, go...) Later, he graduated to a corded electric, the scent of clover rising in clouds behind him.
For decades, he fixed musical instruments in a tiny basement workshop, giving more life and more music to kids. He saved and organized orphaned screws in jam and pickle jars hanging from lids on a wooden plank above his work table.
My dad, too. Copious nails, screws, useful bits. Random fasteners in big old coffee cans. Eight O'clock. Chock Full 'o Nuts. Folgers. Lids pulled off, nose poked in.
Digging, digging. Ghosts of mornings past wafted up, mixed with grease, dust, metal.
I collect things, too. Save for later. Worn dishcloths I swear to mend. Unremarkable.
My favorites. Workhorses, they suds well and longer than most. Twist dry without complaint, holding their own.
I've saved tea bags all summer. Last summer, too. Geological layers. Another day.
Life timing. Papers pile. Wisp thin and strong. They will do. More. And more.
So, I continue.