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I think most of us have a little bit of pack rat in our DNA. We’re good at stowing stuff away to use later because we’re sure we’ll need it eventually — like that 25-pound box of finish nails, coils of chicken wire and stacks of scrap wood that adorn the rafters and corners of our garages, sheds and yards.

I have a whole toolbox filled with assorted door knobs, hinges, tubes of hardened caulking material, drill bits, wire, dozens of chargers for dozens of power tools that I no longer own and shelves of half used quarts of paint and stains. I just KNOW I’ll need that box of 10-year-old slug bait, someday.

One of my favorite parts of the popular game show “Let’s Make a Deal” was at the end of the show when the host went into the crowd and offered to pay cash for random items that guests brought with them, like offering $100 for each paper clip they could find in their purse or a thousand dollars for a box of slug bait. I’m pretty sure that every object that was ever turned into a gadget by TV’s MacGyver is currently residing under the seat of my truck.

As I was sitting in the waiting room of one of our local tire dealerships here in Logan waiting for my truck to get new footwear, out of the blue (boredom) I pulled out my wallet and started going through it item by item and found many, many treasures. In no particular order, my wallet contains:

Expired gift cards for a free cheese pizza, one free doughnut, one free cookie and one cupcake. I have an insurance card for a vehicle I owned in 2008, an old debit card and its new replacement, three gift cards to a local sporting goods store with balances of under two dollars on each of them.

I have a readers card for the Library of Congress that expired in 2020, but it looks cool and ya never know when it might come in handy to show around in social gatherings and to old wallet card collectors.

I have my handy dandy pet-care rewards card that earns me discounts when I get certain prescriptions for our dogs and cat, which lately earns me more than my 401K.

I have my combination hunting/fishing license for Utah and a season fishing license for Idaho, both of which are in slick plastic covers and protrude from the top of my wallet so they are most easily accessed.

I have my concealed firearm permit and my American Red Cross identification card right next to my temporary Utah driver’s license, which I forgot to renew on my birthday. I now have a paper copy and my old card just in case I get pulled over and the officer wants to know what I looked like five years ago.

I found several “mystery cards” hiding in the folds of my wallet, ones that were so smeared and unreadable that I had to scrape off a layer or two to discover their identities, a buy-one-get-one-free card for an order of fries from A&W, a Christmas gift card from Jamba (I love Jamba juice!), and a very old Walmart gift card.

I have an expired Sam’s Club card, a health insurance card from seven years ago, my current insurance card and several random rewards cards for local service stations. I have a Sky View Pool punch card with two punches left on it from when I was brave enough to try an early morning water aerobics class a few years ago.

I have a Visa gift debit card that has four dollars on it and two gift certificates to Cinefour Theaters in North Logan. I also found a key in the little key pocket that I have no clue what is used to open. Oh, and I have three dollar bills.

My kids used to (still do) make fun of the size of my wallet and told me I was going to start listing to starboard after toting the thing around for years. My wallet started out as a new leather billfold with nice little plastic foldout sections for credit cards, pictures and expired gift cards. After all these years, my wallet is smooth, shiny and about the size of an inflated, square jelly-filled doughnut.

I remember my dad had a wallet like mine when I was growing up. Occasionally he’d let us dig through his wallet when we needed a distraction uncovering the “Cave of Wonders” that was held there. (He always took out his military ID so we wouldn’t lose it).

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a wallet. It’s my portable filing cabinet, information resource and identification storage bin. I know there are a lot of folks out there who store all of their information on their phones and can readily access it, but in my case the challenge comes in “readily” finding anything. I finally put together a song list on Spotify and had a growing number of my contacts in my phone when it happened to go overboard and sink to the bottom of Newton Dam while I was fishing, Ahhhhh! Well, I guess it was partially my fault; I should have kept my phone in a secure spot, like my wallet.

What’s in your wallet?

Chad Hawkes is a fifth grade teacher at North Park Elementary School. He can be reached by email at chad.hawkes@ccsdut.org.

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