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Off the hook for another year?

It took me almost a year -- one full year -- to hang a hook by the back door for the dog's leash.

This after 11 months of draping it over the doorknob of the back hall closet. Coiling it up on the floor. Hanging it, for a while anyway, on a coat tree which seemed like a good idea except for one thing: It was not near the door we exit to walk the dog.

A hook. A simple hook. One of my all-time favorite household inventions.

This is why, perhaps, it took me so long to hang one. What kind of hook should I use -- a utilitarian one or a cute one, perhaps in the shape of a dog bone? Where should I hang it -- and how high? Should I screw one into the wall or use a heavy-duty adhesive one?

And who had time to think about it anyway? I would figure it out . . . some day, I told myself, flinging the leash one more time over the doorknob.

When I finally uncovered a plain white hook from the basement -- recycling! -- it took me about 3 1/2 seconds to screw it in and hang up the leash.

What a feeling! No more tripping over the leash in the back hall. No more wrestling with it when I opened the closet door.

The deed was done.

Hooks are the least expensive way to add storage and keep things orderly and off the floor.

I love walking down the hallway at our daughter's school and seeing all the hooks labeled with children's names.

We have two wooden boards with Shaker-style pegs on them in our computer room/playroom.

At one time, the pegs held our daughter's dress-up clothes, a collection of Hawaiian leis and a pair of butterfly wings she wore one Halloween -- and every opportunity she had after that.

Now that she is nearly 10, the dress-up clothes are gone and the pegs hold her purses, totes, a backpack and various crafts.

Some of my favorite displays of collections -- from friends' homes, magazines, country inns and so forth -- involve hooks, now that I think about it.

A display of straw hats. A row of slickers lined up by a cottage door. Beach towels ready for grabbing.

Years ago, I purchased a white vinyl-coated grid with white clip-on plastic hooks you can move around any way you need them.

It hangs in my closet, but it has traveled to various locations as I have moved and it has served different purposes.

It's about 36 inches high but not quite as wide. I hang scarves, beads, bracelets, you name it on it. Above it, I have two hats hung from pegs.

Did I mention I love hooks? And how cute the four flower-shaped wood ones are on the back of our daughter's bedroom door?

(Some days are better than others for her actually using them, but that's another story.)

Anyway, one day recently I went to grab the leash since the dog and I were heading out for a nice outing.

I took the leash, and the hook came with it. My little white hook. It fell to the floor -- with a clink.

All that was left behind was a hole in the wall.

Just to clarify, I reported earlier that it took me almost a year to finally hang a hook for the dog leash.

I never said I hung it correctly, now did I?


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