Survival Kit: Mr. Ingmundson on the Meaning of Toolboxes

Mr. Ingmundson on gardens, golf, and the meaning of toolboxes.

Survival Kit: Mr. Ingmundson on the Meaning of Toolboxes
Photography and illustration by Kaiden Chandler.

By Scarlett Colbath

Staff Writer. Class of 2026

Mr. Ingmundson, an English teacher at MSMHS, spoke with Current reporter Scarlett Colbath on the seven things he can't live without. Here are edited excerpts from their conversation.

Scarlett: Hey everyone, I’m here with Mr. Ingmundson, commonly known as Mr. I. Do you want to introduce yourself?

Mr. I: Yes, my name is Ingmundson, spelled I-N-G-M-U-N-D-S-O-N, and I am an English teacher in my first year at Marine Science.

1. William Sonoma Spoons

Mr. I: So, seven things I can’t live without. Okay — number one. I can’t live without my William Sonoma wooden spoons in my kitchen. I have two of them; I use them to cook virtually everything I make. They were just given to me as a Christmas gift ten years ago or something. I like wooden spoons because they don’t scratch things. They’re just very versatile; you can use them with hot ingredients that you’re cooking in a pan, or cold ingredients that you’re mixing — they’re very useful for a lot of different things.

2. His Vegetable Garden

The second thing that I can’t live without would be my vegetable garden. I have two of them; they’re both 4 feet by 10 feet, and they’re on the south side of my house so they get sun all day. I love growing my own vegetables and herbs because it gives me a sort of mental connection to my mother because she was a really avid gardener. I enjoy eating what I grow, but I also enjoy showing my daughter how to grow things; she finds it really fascinating, and she helps me do all the planting and stuff.

I grow green beans, I grow peppers, I grow carrots, I sometimes grow onions and garlic. I’ve been taking a break from squash lately because squash attracts a lot of bugs, and I don’t want to deal with bugs. I grow snow peas in the spring, and I also grow lettuce in the spring before it gets hot. It's a nice variety of things.

3. A Charcoal Grill

So, a third thing I can’t live without would be my charcoal grill, because I use it to do things like smoked ribs and chicken; it’s one of my favorite things to do. I barbecue any time of the year — not just in the summer — and I like cooking things for like 5 or 6 hours slowly because it just makes them taste really good. Ribs are my favorite thing to barbecue, but chicken would be a close second. Mr. Felty [another MSMHS teacher] and I always comparing notes about barbecuing.

4. Golf Clubs

The fourth thing I can’t live without would be my golf clubs. I’ve had the same set of irons since I was 16, and I’ve had the same set of woods for about the same period of time. I just enjoy playing; I’m not anything special when it comes to skill level in golf, but I like to play it. It’s always good to get together with friends and have a few laughs.

5. His Shed

The fifth thing I can’t live without would be my tool shed, which is not that big, but contains lots of my yard work stuff, my gardening tools, everything. As a kid growing up, we had a big yard, and my parents always did all of their own yard work and landscaping, so they passed that work ethic and interest onto me. It can be very time-consuming and sometimes it’s hard to find the time to do it, but I find that, besides saving money, maintaining the yard myself is very rewarding because it gives me the ability to make it look beautiful.

I also can’t live without my tool shed because of my summer side job, where I do gardening for people. It’s very rewarding; instead of having to just stand in front of a group of people and talk, it’s just me and the plants. I can just be introverted and quiet, and I don’t even wear AirPods or headphones when I do it. I like to just listen to the birds and the sound of the breeze. I try to be very mentally present where I am. It calms my nerves and gets me a few extra dollars.

6. Latimer Brook

The sixth thing I can’t live without would be Latimer Brook, which is what my house abuts. It flows right through my backyard, and it’s a little bit of daily zen; if I open the window or walk outside, I can hear the brook bubbling or babbling in my backyard. It attracts a lot of our wildlife. Every day, we see deer, foxes, and all kinds of birds that walk along the creek bed. It makes me feel lucky to live where it is that we live.

7. His Toolbox

The seventh thing that I can’t live without would be one that’s very special to me, and that is my toolbox. It’s not just the fact that I have various carpenter tools for projects, but how I got them. Some of them are presents from my dad, and others are things that were handed down to me from my grandfather. It’s not just the tools themselves — it's the people that they represent in my life.

In the case of my grandfather, he’s no longer here, but I still have the stuff that he used to work with that I now use for projects around my home. It’s cool to think about not only what it is that you have, but who had it before you, and the person's story that’s associated with that thing.

Thanks for reading Survival Kit, a publication of The Current. Join us next Thursday for news, opinion, science and more in The Current: Monthly Edition!

-Scarlett Colbath, Writer of Survival Kit

The Current