Finding meaning in the trivial
Why I Love It When Things Fit in Boxes

                  coin boxesThese antique coin boxes (see photo) are patented devices that held rolls of coins so a 1920s clerk could grab the right roll on the quick. They made life considerably easier in department stores and banks, a century ago.


And look! Look at how they fit in the cubbyholes of my secretary desk! I’m so excited. I'm using them to store drawing pencils.


My first blog post, written before there were blogs, was titled: “Why I Love it When Things Fit in Boxes.” That was in 1976.


I wrote because I was genuinely puzzled: why DO I love it when things fit in boxes? The Winnie-the-Pooh story of Eeyore receiving an empty honey pot and some broken balloons for his birthday, then delightedly putting the balloons in the pot, then taking them out, then putting them back in, and being thoroughly happy – why do I get it? Do you?

Bear with me for another example:


I came across an old glass-topped drafting desk at Habitat for Humanity, $35. It even had a parallel rule, so when I draw a row of buildings, I can keep them straight without tedious ruler work. Yay! Never mind that the glass was clear, so the light box beneath gave light that was never diffused properly for drawing – I’m an adaptable girl, willing to work around difficulties. I’d get by.


Back home, I had another light box, with a big sheet of smoked plexiglass to diffuse its light. (I’d picked it up at a Goodwill, twenty years earlier, for $5.)


On a whim, I assayed to put the plexiglass in where the clear glass was and IT FIT PERFECTLY! In my world, this event fully justifies the use of those shouting all-caps.

Okay, just one more for-instance:


We bought a grandfather clock for the sake of its inner workings – the excellent mechanism fascinated Marvin. The 1980s oak case did not fascinate either of us.

Then we bought a four-tier barrister bookcase, excellent except for being without its necessary base. No problem, said I, it’s a bargain and I’ve always, always, wanted an antique barrister bookcase.


Then, one night, I had a thought and got a tape measure. Turns out the useless base of the clock fits PERFECTLY under the bookcase. Even looks good. Case closed.

I have hundreds of such stories which, to me, point to a bigger picture. In my stories, I see God winking, and whispering that He will pull things together, like stars coming together in fortuitous and/or prophetic conjunctions.Grandfather Clock Base

That's a stretch, you say?


I cherish, in my heart, the idea that there’s a Grand Scheme to Life, that Life is like a round story, where things fit together, where, at some point, all the disparate elements come together and make sense. And when my antique coin boxes fit in my 1867 secretary desk, I get a foretaste of that day.

I run the risk of boring you with my examples, because sure-as-certain, you have your own stash of stories pointing to some larger gift within your life. Some of us never compile our list. I'd encourage you to think about yours.

I am forever thankful for you taking the time to read what I write, and am delighted to hear from you.

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