Pets, children leave own special marks

Published 12:13 am Saturday, May 27, 2017

You have probably noticed that insurance companies and law enforcement people advise us to use means of identifying household property in case of burglary or fire. Almost everything in my house has identifying marks.

Instead of going around with a stamp or a little burning tool to mark things, I depend on identifying marks left by our children, grandchildren, dogs, myself, and my husband through the years.

Take that easy chair in the living room. What better identifying mark could I have than some stuffing poking through at the corner of each arm? Our first dachshund puppy started a tiny hole. It was improved upon by the second, and polished to perfection by the third one. If you notice the end tables, you might see some peeling paint on top of one of them. It was caused by my carelessness in not noticing that water was seeping through a flowerpot. Dachshund number three left her mark on a corner of the other table. She gnawed on it every time we dared to leave her alone in the house.

Then there is the coffee table. A grandchild made those marks when he tried out a toy hammer on it. The rings got there when a television soap opera fan got so absorbed in one of the episodes that she forgot there was no coaster under her glass of iced tea. The big hunk out of the leg of the dining room table happened when an impatient teenager tried to get through with her Saturday morning vacuuming in a hurry so she could go on an excursion with her friends. Cigarette burns on a bedside table are a reminder of a guest whose cigarette fell out of an ashtray when he dropped off to sleep.

Scrapes and dents on the washer and dryer occurred when they were moved into one house or out of another. Same with the refrigerator.

The oak desk in my husband’s study would interest an antiques dealer until he examined the legs with lion’s paw claws. Some college student had chopped part of them off so the desk would fit evenly against the wall in his dorm. That was why we got such a good buy on it.

You can see my own identification outside the house, too. One of my loaf pans has a perfect V-shaped chip on the side. The casserole dish I often use at covered dish meals stands out from others on the table because it has a rounded chip on one of the handles. My plastic cake carrier, similar to others that appear at various events, is easy to spot. I patched it with a Band-aid to cover up the hole that came in it when I put a pot I had just taken off a burner too close to it.

I knew every scratch t in my well-traveled toaster that finally died at age 29. Just like all that other “stuff” I mentioned, it, too, had my very own special marks.


Nina Keenam is retired from the newspaper business. Her column appears on Saturdays.