Monday, October 26, 2009

The Object of My Desire: A Box from Home

This weekend a box that my parents and my sister packed with birthday goodies arrived from my hometown of Independence, Mo.

On top covered with wax paper were two plastic bags full of Rice Krispie Treats, something my dad likes to send me on occasion and a snack we adored when I was a kid. Also, there were two containers of unsalted peanuts, another of my favorite snacks, and then a glass mug from the beloved Tiffany's Attic dinner theater that once stood on Kansas City's Main Street.

When I was a kid, going to the dinner theater was a fancy occasion that we anticipated with excitement, especially if the show featured the Vaudeville performer Billie Bird. For all these years, my mom has saved this mug from one of those special family outings, and then sent it to me. It's printed with the face of the zany character actress we saw onstage in shows like "Arsenic and Old Lace" and "Busybody." We'd get so tickled by her craziness that we could hardly catch our breath during the show, and giggled for days recounting her silly antics.

Also in my box was an old loomed potholder. We used to make these when we were kids, but I don't know whether this is one we actually made, or one that Mom has collected over the years. Along with the book, Strengths Finder 2.0, my sister Cheryl added a special card she made from a family photo. Pictured next to me on the left is my Grandma Williams, Mom and Cheryl, holding her dog Gypsy. My Aunt Lorene, who we used to call Snowball, in the pink dress in the center aside Dad.

It was 1986 -- the summer I returned from my studies at the University of Bordeaux, France, we made a family trip to see my Grandma Williams in Mulberry, Ark. Note the 1980s hair that I had tons of, just like my Grandma. Now Grandma, Snowball and Gypsy have all long passed. And the rest of us look a little older -- or mature, I should say -- except for Dad, who seems to have barely aged over the past 23 years and still has a head full of barely grayed hair!

This old photo brought back memories like it was yesterday....the sticky, humid air blowing out of Grandma's water cooler, my grandfather's old 1977 Chevrolet Impala, the framed, light-up print of Jesus above the living room sofa, Grandma's just-done hair-do, the bright red-carpeting in her guest bedroom and the smell of beans on the stove and cornbread in the oven.

I couldn't have received a better box of treasures -- a true offering of cherished memories on which no one can place a price tag.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!

The Elegant Thrifter


  1. Perfect, truly perfect! Happy Birthday Dear Stan!

  2. Hi Stan -
    Happy Birthday! What a wonderful treasure to have received :) Memories are the best, you keep them forever :) Have a great week :)
    The Tattered Cottage

  3. Hey There!

    Just a quick note to thank you for linking to me! It was a pleasant surprise to see a google-alert with my name on your blogsite! I'm honored and am linking back to you. In fact, after stumbling upon your site last week, it's been on my to-do list, but you beat me to it!
    Best regards,
    Toma (aka, The Antiques Diva)

  4. Your aweful loveable when you're sentimental... Tomorrow is my Fiffff something Birthday.... just can't bring myself to say it... Oh well, I feel good in my skin... as I have said before, I wish I could pull it up like a wrinkled sock ...ha!
    Well, Happy Birthday Harry! I mean Stan. :)


  5. What a lovely gift. I know what you must have been feeling ...
    My mom moved from our family home to an apartment 3 years ago which meant we had to sift through everything. There were good memories and forgotten ones.
    What a lovely gift you received.

  6. Such thoughtful gifts!! Are you going to share those rice krispie treats?

  7. Cherished memories and treasures from home. Nothing lovelier. Happy birthday! Pam

  8. Stan....can I just say that you have such a gift for telling a story. It moved me. I got a little teary-eyed reading this because it took me right back to my great grandmother's house. It was like I could smell her beans cooking on the stove! Thank you for sharing this.

    Oh, and you didn't say it was your b-day, but it looks like from the comments it was, so Happy Birthday! BTW, I added you to my blog list.

    Have a great night!



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