My mom sent me a box this week. She used to only send boxes from QVC or HSN, in part because she doesn’t like going to the post office. Some of you may remember the infamous Easter Box. The last box came after I told her that one (of two) heat resistant handle-covering was coming off one of my favorite pans. I only told her because she sent me the pan some 6 years ago and I was just letting her know how long it had lasted. Of course the pan was still perfectly usable, and I was not, in fact, angling for a new pan.
Anyway, she told me that she had purchased a new pan some time ago that she had never used – because she bought two of the same pan – something she’s done all my life, just in case they suddenly stop selling that item and she needs a new one. It goes along with her penchant for stocking up on food – something I’ve heard of for other people who’ve lived through tough times. The last time I was at my mother’s house, the cupboards and two refrigerators had enough food to get a family of four through at least three months.
That last box had the pan she talked about in it, as well as 4 other assorted pans, two with lids. It also had two brand new keep-your-beverage-hot thermoses (I don’t drink any hot beverages), some tupperware-type containers and a random assortment of socks and other clothing items. It was fun pulling things out of the box, which I did while on the phone with her. As I thanked her for each item, she either told me the story of how it came to her or how much she liked that object in her own home. A couple of times she expressed surprise, saying that she didn’t remember putting it in the box in the first place. Also, the frying pan handle was sticking out of the box.
This week’s box had two handmade hats in it, because I recently started shaving my head again and had commented to her on how cold my head gets. The first hat is one she made for my father. It is blue and so large it covers nearly my whole face if I just pull it straight down. The second one she made last week, specifically for me. From cross stitch thread (because it’s 100% cotton, the ONLY thing you should allow to touch your skin) that she bought for a project she had never started. It’s orange and yellow and orange and looks like a sunrise. It also has a million little tie-offs on the inside (cross stitch threads are only so long). I was touched that she’d made it because she told me before that she never does any crocheting these days because it hurts her hands so. I was also impressed as always because she made this hat with no pattern at all, measuring it on her own head.
There were more random socks. Like, 20 pairs. We both used to wear socks with funky patterns, seasonal or holiday related, sometimes just with funky color schemes. You know, socks with Winne-the-Pooh, or Jack-o-lanterns or Christmas trees, that kind of thing.
Here’s the thing. Apart from the new sunrise hat, almost everything else in the box was something my mother had worn, or used, like the cookbook we made cookies from when I was a kid, published in 1963. Know what the best thing about all these items is? Because they aren’t new, sealed in plastic, came from a factory items, all these things smell like my mother’s house. I’ve been wearing the giant daddy-hat almost every day, all the while inhaling the lovely aroma of mommy. Some of the clothes she sent are in a ziploc bag, and I haven’t opened it because I know that eventually the scent will fade or be washed out of the things that I’m using, but if I keep the bag sealed, it will hold it’s soothing smell a little longer. I joke about my mom sending me things from her own dresser, but the truth is, I do appreciate it.