I'm seriously considering putting my skimpy-in-the-first-place tools into a safety deposit box down at the bank.
Then, when I need them, I'll know where they are.
I read where the average American spends three years of life standing in line. I've spent more than that just looking for my tools or waiting in line at the hardware store to buy new ones.
Just now my wife is after me to hang an old antique mirror she dug out of a dark corner of an antique store.
It's probably a ten-minute job, but I've been putting it off because I know from experience that finding the right tools to do the job will require the rest of the month.
With two teenage sons who are always fixing something, even if it doesn't need fixing, and who have never quite caught on to the idea of putting tools away after they are finished with them, my tools were usually scattered from here to breakfast.
The boys have left home now after eighteen or twenty years of broken tricycles, creative Soap Box derby cars, wobbly bike wheels, injured skate boards and a constant need to install new shocks on their cars that probably cost less than the new shocks they bought for them.
I know they didn't take the tools with them when they finally left home, so they must be out there in the yard or immediate neighborhood somewhere, silently rusting away.
My wife is suffering empty nest syndrome but I have a bad case of empty toolbox syndrome.
My awls are all gone and my plumb bob is plumb gone. The last time I saw my three-foot folding carpenters rule it was thirty-one inches long.
I imagine that most American households buy just one rat-tailed file in their life and it is still around and in working order. At our house, half a dozen of my rat-tailed files must be down some unknown rat hole somewhere. If all the crowbars I've purchased in my lifetime were laid end to end, they would still not be there for me to crow about.
I do still have a decent supply of screwdrivers to choose from, except they were all once very sharp, precise chisels from Norway.
Someone has gotten rich off my repeated purchase of nail counter sinkers.
So far as I know, my counter sinkers have all gone to that great sinkhole somewhere out in our back yard.
I need to buy another stud finder just to locate the six that have been lost in our house. And I suppose my kids would claim it was the neighbor kid who lugged away my lug wrenches.
I tried locking all of my tools in the trunk of my car, but then the boys started borrowing my car and my tools were never home. Then I built a shed onto the back of our garage and put padlock on the door. But my wife lost the key and I had to borrow my neighbor's hacksaw to get in so I could use my tools.
So I purchased a small toolbox and some basic tools for each of the boys as high school graduation presents. But they've already lost the box AND all of the tools.
As a last resort I bought one of those engravers that etched information on steel. As my tools showed up for brief visits or as I invested in replacements, I engraved name, rank, serial number, religious affiliation and blood type.
But I didn't know how to engrave my engraving machine.
And now that's missing.