Friday, January 21, 2011

Keyed Up

By Heather Webber

Earlier this week, my husband’s car needed a quick trip to the shop to tweak something (shocks, struts?) and long story short, we found ourselves looking for a spare key to his car.

And looking and looking.

The thing was we had plenty of keys. Small ones, big ones, skinny, fat. None fit to his car.

Another long story short, it turned out that we didn’t even need the spare. But what this little escapade revealed was that we had a whole bunch of keys, and that we had no idea what they fit into. So why do we have them, if we don’t have any idea what they’re for? Because it’s impossible-impossible-for me to throw them away. What if we might need one? What if we happen to discover that, oh yeah, that key goes to the house we lived in 17 years ago? Maybe we might need that! We actually have a key labeled “1999 Corolla – Sand.” Which would be fine if we ever owned a sand-colored 1999 Corolla. We didn’t. We don’t know anyone who did. Where did this key come from? And more importantly, why can’t I throw it away?

Please tell me I’m not alone in this. How many “spares” do you have lying around?

17 comments:

groovyoldlady said...

We live in a HUGE house with no less than 7 external doors (OK...2 are garage doors, but there's also that door between the garage and the basement that locks. We have mud rooms, so there are inner and outer doors on our kitchen and on the folks' apartment. They all lock. When we moved in, the former owners gave us a whole bag of keys. Some we have identified, many are still mysteries to us, even after sending Scout and his best friend around to every door to test all the keys. We've also replaced a couple of doors and changed the locks, but kept the old keys.

No extra car keys, though...

I'm thinking we have enough to set a world record or something!

Sheila Connolly said...

I have a boxful, and it weighs about ten pounds. Some I can identify; others are Yale keys to places I've lived over the past few decades, going back to high school, but no way could I tell you which was which.

My favorite is a little key with a label in my great-grandmother's handwriting, that says "silver chest." The chest--and the silver--are long gone, but the key remains.

Laineshots said...

Heather, I can't throw away keys either--that's just inviting trouble! Sheila, I'd keep the silver chest key too--it's a treasure in its own right. I have a set of old keys from the bedrooms of a brothel in Nevada. Can't throw those away, either.

The most beautifully-toned wind chime I ever had was made for me out of a lot of keys strung together, hung from a piece of driftwood. The slightest breeze gave me ripples of silvery notes. I'd never have believed it.

Rural View said...

After 16 years we've still not identified all the keys given to us by the previous owners of this house. Since we've changed the doors, I don't suppose it matters but, like you, we still keep them. We also have a large assortment of old keys, and would you believe people collect them, haunt estate sales for them, and pay a lot of money for them?

Very funny, my verification word is spediess and I live where the local famous food is speedies.

Aurian said...

I even have a key on my keyring in my purse that doesn't fit anywhere!

signlady217 said...

I have one or two on my keyring that I know my husband said go to the "???" (shed, maybe?). I never can remember, but they do belong at this point, so I'll keep them. But yeah, we've got old keys to who knows what else. BTW, that picture of a pile of keys looks like a piece of scrapbook paper; what a great page it would make!

Linda Leszczuk said...

My last day on the job, as part of the outprocessing, I had to turn in my keys. I gave them a small keychain with 8 or 9 keys - all of which I could identify - and a bag of twenty or so I pulled from my desk that I had no idea what they opened.

Dru said...

The only keys that I have multiple copies are of my apartment.

ev said...

Um... they are all over the place in boxes where they and their key chains, which I can't throw out either, get stashed.

I finally got all the doors keyed to one key so it's much easier.

Heather Webber said...

I'm still trying to figure out why I keep the keys. It's probably the same reason I hold on to paperwork for decades!

Sheila, I think you should put that silver key in a shadow box.

Laine, LOL on the brothel. I'm SO curious.

Vickie said...

We have envelopes of keys in the junk drawer and in my dresser drawers from past lock changes on inside and outside doors of the last two houses and the present house. Old padlock keys with no locks...

Nanc said...

I thought the same thing about making a shadow box for the silver chest key...what a treasure. When our son was about 8 or 9 he found a big box of old keys that my FIL had laying around...he worked for days and days and made the coolest wind chime...I still have it and each time I look at it or hear I am reminded of that darling boy and the work he put into his project!! Of course he is now 16 and upstairs right now making himself a computer desk!!
Thanks for another fun topic Heather...
Nanc

Rural View said...

I have another idea for the picture of keys - it would make a difficult jigsaw puzzle. I'd love to put one like that together.

Brenda Hyde said...

*snort* I never throw away keys either. I'm always afraid I'm going to need it for some reason-- it's not like new keys are even cool like old ones!

Prairiedog said...

I love old keys, esp. skeleton keys, and have lots of them laying around. I have a couple bunches of rusty ones hanging up in appropriate places with other stuff. I've used them on craft projects and even sold a big bunch on eBay. I've seen them for $5.00 or more apiece at junk sales, but have accumulated mine at auctions. My hubby is a sometime auctioneer, and we go to a few. I have a neat board with hat holders and a couple keys attached that say, garden shed. Dang, it's cold here in Minnesota. Karen

Lindy said...

Good Grief! How in the world did you get my car key?

hatfieldtiffany75 said...

You are not alone. We do the same thing. I will be going through cabinets and find spare keys and I put them with others because I am always afraid that my husband who has many keys from safes, garage, tool boxes, four wheelers, trailors, and vehicles. So we too have a collection of keys.