Lists tell us a lot about ourselves.

A grocery list tells us what we’ll be eating for the next few days.  A to-do list tells us where to go and what to do when we get there.   An invitation list tells us who our friends are.  A Christmas list tells us to get going before things get too crazy.

Last week, I peered into the cubbyholes of an old, unused desk and discovered a most curious list of things.

It included:

A collar and ID tag from a long dead cat.

A copy of The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford.

My grandfather’s pocket watch.

Two engraving plates with my name on them:  one for stationery, the other for calling cards.

A deliciously twisted tale by by John Updike with equally twisted drawings by Edward Gorey.

A box of “Dennison Gummed Labels,”  now a collectible item from the 1940’s which holds pictures of my parents.

I’m not getting a clear sense of direction from that odd little list.  I only know that, ultimately, it tells me something about myself.  Because that’s what lists do.

It also underscores the value of little-bitty cubbyholes, which can hold treasures worth re-discovering on a rainy day when you have nothing else to do.