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Little Things

I have a stapler that someone gave me a long time ago when I graduated from law school. It is metal and about 6 inches long and fits perfectly in my hand. It has always worked, and I have carried it with me wherever I moved. Someone, with good intentions, tried to throw it out one day, but luckily I rescued it from the garbage before it was taken out.

My stapler, now a bit battered from use, reminds me of so many things for which I am grateful. There are big items of course – food and shelter – but there are all those other little things that make our lives easier or more enjoyable. Dollar store items come to mind: toothpicks and nail files and floss and scotch tape and wrapping paper and aisles of things we don’t need but for a dollar may think, why not?

There are also the bigger little things which we discovered as the pandemic became real in March of 2020 – toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Who knew the shelves would be emptied and people would panic? We were so used to having what we wanted when we wanted it - until it was no longer there. This was a result of panic and toilet paper and cleaning products returned to stores but for that moment we realized you can’t take everything for granted.

Then there is a much bigger little thing: water. I am one of those people who still drinks tap water which means I can tell when it is off. Someone asked me what that means, and all I can say is that it was not like bottled water, which is what most tap water tastes like. Then Flint Michigan happened. People’s water was – basically – poisoned, and we all watched in horror but also thought, whew, glad it is not us. But could it be someday?

Now back to where I began – my little stapler. I have wandered far afield which I still blame on the pandemic. Silly as it may be, I am grateful for my little beat-up stapler that works and serves me well. I may see if I can clean it a bit. Or not. We have been together for so long that, like a good marriage, we can be who (or what) we are.

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