Lynn's Comments: The alcove in my mother-in-law's house was too small to allow for an organized dropping of outerwear. Likewise the closet in our front hall was a "bin" you dove into head first hoping to find something that, if not matching, at least fit! Along with the jumble of boots, mitts and whatnot came the sand, the pine needles and an omnipresent puddle of gritty, melted snow. If this cache of crud bothered you, it would be a thorn in your side for 8 months! This is how long winter lasted in northern Manitoba. You just had to get used to it. Spring would warm the roof for a few days before summer came and this is when the hall heap of winter wear would be dissected, paired up and thrown into the laundry. More often than not, we discovered things left by friends and friends of friends, which lead to the neighborly tradition of returning stuff and picking stuff up that you had left behind. Last week, I noticed that my daughter Katie, (now 33) had on a pair of mittens she's had since she was little. I wondered how they had lasted for so long - still in a pair, still wearable. Somehow, they'd survived the family "filing system". It goes to show you that favorite things find their way to the surface, no matter how deep the pile!