Several years ago, our niece came to stay with us for a couple weeks. My oldest son was into origami big time, and he taught her a few of the easier shapes, most importantly, how to fold the lids and bottoms to make a box.
After she went back home, he decided to mail her a gift.
He folded several boxes, each a little smaller than the next so that they all nested together. The tiniest one in the very middle was so small that it could hold a single, plain M&M candy.
I believe there were altogether 8 boxes with lids, and then we put those into a sturdy cardboard box for shipping.
I wondered about her going through all those boxes, one after the other, only to come upon one small sweet morsel.
I can’t remember what came of it, those were busy times in the family. There might be a note of thanks in a box on the shelf of the cupboard, but I’m not opening that door right now. The last time I did, a knotted bundle of cards fell onto my foot.
Lately I got to thinking about all those boxes, measured and folded exactly, with one inside the other. My half-century birthday is today, and I feel like all the years and events leading to this day have been fitted together around one spirit waiting to see whatever comes next.
Thinking about those boxes mixes up other history.
I can remember when my sister Darla was sick with bronchitis in the hospital. There was something to be done downtown, and so Dad tied a cardboard box onto the sled and had me and Denise sitting on it while he pulled us over sidewalks not yet shoveled free of the snow. Later that day, my mom took my sister Denise and me to stand outside on the sidewalk while our dad went inside and then held the baby up to look out the window. None of my own sons were ever so sick that we parents had to take turns at the hospital.
And the time when my dad was a patient at the VA hospital in Pittsburgh. I was 16, and allowed to be a visitor, so I went up to the wing to bring him down to the public waiting room where the younger girls could see him too. On the way down, the elevator stopped between the fifth and sixth floors. I used the telephone to call the operator, and the man said I should climb out the escape hatch and go to the upper floor. I told him that my dad was in a wheelchair and I wouldn’t leave him.
We were in there almost an hour, while mom and my sisters were waiting somewhat impatiently.
Nobody ever mentioned people were stuck in the elevator.
After dad came home on crutches, there was a huge snowstorm. The snow tires needed to be put on rear of the car. Kids these days would never know about snow tires.
I went out and got the car up on the jack while dad sat at the dining room window and watched. Whenever he wanted me to know I should do something different, he would rap his crutch on the glass, I would have to climb the steps, cross the porch, open the door and stick my head in to ask what he wanted.
What a long winter afternoon that was!
When I was finally finished, had rolled the regular tires to the shed and gotten into the house and out of my coat and hat and work gloves, there was a cup of hot cocoa waiting. The skin on the surface told me he had made it awhile ago, but I had taken a long time to get out of the winter gear.
Later I heard him talking on the phone and telling somebody that “Diane changed the tires on the car. There’s hope for her yet!”
In 1992, my husband, and his buddy Earl, went up to the Great Lakes on a photography trip. They were gone a little over a week, but the stories have taken years for the telling.
I was expecting him back late in the afternoon on a Sunday. That morning, the boys and I went to church services as usual, and during the Fellowship Hour, I was in the library looking at pictures from a recent birthday party of one of the members.
I became aware of someone very close looking over my shoulder at the pictures, but being that it was church, was not at all suspicious.
When I got to the bottom of the pile, I straightened up and turned back to see who had been breathing on my neck.
Oh goodness, it was Husband, and I let out a little shreeek, and as it says in the Bible, ‘fell upon his neck and kissed him’!
One of the other women across the table thought that was a bit much, my reaction and being that he is already my husband, but someone else explained that my mate had been out of town and now he is home safe and sooner than anticipated.
We decided that absence does make the heart grow fonder.
Husband said that the little scene was greatly appreciated, maybe because other folks were watching and know how much love happens with us.
All these memories make up the whole 50 year old me shown here in the picture.
The top I am wearing was purchased for the banquet, but I have worn it to three really fun events in the last month.
Each time brought compliments, even from strangers.
One lady asked where I bought it, but I hesitated to give a prompt answer.
Finally, I said from the Thrift Store.
The tag was the color code for $3.99, but that was half price day for clothes, so I bought it for $2.
A very frugal opportunity for dress up success.
~~love and Huggs, Diane
ps The birthday post from last year tells some of my favorite birthday memories.