Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Packages in a Mailbox
For some reason I can't attach the picture I wanted to with this Post so please use your imagination! (I'll post it to my Facebook page-Barbara Briggs Ward).
This all started stirring in my head on Christmas Eve as I watched my 3-year old granddaughter open some gifts. Of course she was excited-ripping paper off one and then another; spending seconds looking at each and then moving on to the next. When she got to the 'big' one-so big that I hadn't been able to wrap it, she hesitated. It was obvious she was trying to figure out how to get at what was hidden inside the two very large, oversized gift bags. With her Daddy's help she removed the bags-and discovered a-to-die-for, brightly-colored easel. One side was a chalkboard with a tray for chalk; the other was the easel with cup holders for paints and things. She would soon unwrap another easel gift-one with the chalk and paints and brushes and paper. I say it was a to-die-for easel because I put myself in her shoes at that moment and thought back to when I was little and if I'd found that waiting for me under the tree I would have jumped up and down and done somersaults-simply because I love all of that stuff. Still do. The smell of pencils and crayons stir my imagination. Writing on chalkboards reminds me of my growing up in the country and playing in the old chicken coop which was full of the remains of an abandoned one-room schoolhouse. And that included the chalkboards.
That moment also reminded me of a Christmas gift one of my aunt's gave me when I was a little kid. It ranks right up there as a favorite gift-just like the desk my grandfather made me and the pack of gum my brother wrapped in tissue paper and handed to me on Christmas morning with a big smile on his face. I think my aunt bought her gift through a mail-order catalog. We lived next door and I remember watching her walk to the mailbox as Christmas approached. A few times she'd walk back down the cinder driveway with packages. I concluded one was for me. Wherever she bought it I fell in love with it the minute I opened it. To most it would have been just a pencil holder with a matching letter holder. To me-it was pure magic since I had this urge to write and create without understanding why I did that stuff whenever I could.
I still have the letter holder. It holds markers and pencils-and the memory of watching my aunt walk back down the cinder driveway carrying packages as Christmas grew near.