One unexpected aspect of my new focus on all things colonial is the phenomenon of “kit goggles” – by which I mean, I’m suddenly looking at everything through new eyes, and always posing the question, “Could I use that as part of my kit?” Every trip to the thrift store, every tag sale, every craft studio and antique shop becomes a treasure hunt.

Today is the first day of the new year, and the holiday decorations are coming down. I’m dusting and wiping and rearranging things. I rummage through my dried culinary and medicinal herbs and toss whatever is old and stale into the fire – this also goes for any old feathers, dried moss, flowers, seedpods, or fungi we may have brought home and put on a shelf last summer. I just like a good New Year’s clean out. And this year is different because of my kit goggles.

Which is how I was able to really see the kit potential in this box. I received it as a gift many years ago, and was told it was a Shaker box. It stored my coin collection. I had to move it today while cleaning, and this time I stopped and really looked at it. The tag inside reminded me it was made at Frye’s Measure Mill in Wilton, New Hampshire. But as I perused their website, I realized this is not a Shaker-style box, but rather an oval colonial pantry box, approximately nine inches across. I have no idea what I’ll use it for, kit-wise, but I aim to use it if I possibly can.