The Magic Toolbox
My dad was a model railroader. When he passed away in 2006, my mom asked me to go through his workbench stuff and sort it out. He had THREE workbenches going and more stuff than I could shake a stick at. Three dozen Xacto knives—if one went missing, he just grabbed a new one! Four Dremel tools, several soldering irons, three electric sanders, dozens of boxes of Q-tips, tubes of glue, paints…etc. I was eventually tossing things in boxes to take home and sort later. It took me a few months to go through it all at home, and eventually I got to the “Magic Toolbox.”
It was a cheap plastic thing with a broken latch that had been duct-taped shut. I didn’t even remember what was in it, or why I took it. It was late at night and I’d been looking for some sort of clamp, swearing and wishing I had a table vise. I picked up the old toolbox to look in the box underneath it, the tape gave way and the lid popped open. All sorts of junk spilled out, including THREE small table vises! Wow, what luck. I rooted around in the box, but didn't find anything fascinating. I taped it shut and put it back in the corner, figuring I’d deal with the rest of the junk in it later.
But then it happened several more times. I was wishing I had some serrated X-acto blades--I needed them to "saw" some pretzel rods to size for a gingerbread cabin. Poof, they spilled out of the “Magic” toolbox. Another time, I needed some really fine chain for a doll I was working on, and poof, there it was, Another time it was micro-brushes. Scroll saw blades. T-pins. And so on. Each time I went scrounging for something I desperately needed right then and there, I found it in that crappy old tool box. And each time I could have sworn the newly found items were not in that box the last time I tripped over it.
I’ve decided not to clean out that toolbox or put any of its contents away. I’m just going to leave it taped up and sitting in the corner, and know it will work its magic next time I need it to.