So I’m unpacking boxes of books and mementos and china. In a way these boxes represent my life before nursing school, before my daughter; they contain photo albums and little odds and ends and endless supplies related in some way to paper. Evidently I really, really love paper and doing things with paper and things made of paper. Paper paper paper!
There are also a lot of things given to me by my grandmothers. One of them has passed on and I think of her every day, one way or another. She was my mother’s mother and lived closer by than my other grandmother, and so I saw more of her. There were times that my mother and I stayed with her. I wish she was still here, that my daughter had had the chance to know her. She talked with everyone, anyone, and I doubt that a friendlier person ever existed. She was a character and even the lady from the Tupperware kiosk at the mall came to her service.
Today as I rummaged in the boxes I unearthed a set of canisters that Grandma gave me. They are plain, stainless steel with a plastic knob on the lid that you can unscrew and fill with a little of whatever is in the canister so you can tell what’s in it without opening it. She told me a story about how she’d gotten them, I wish I could remember the details but it might have been something like she saved Green Stamps for them or something. They are in very good condition and one of the reasons I finally got off my ass and went and got the boxes (aside from extreme guilt at them languishing in Helen’s basement for four solid years because I apparently suck as a person) was that we needed canisters. I had all but forgotten they were still around but suddenly they flashed in my brain. And now they are drying on the counter, and I am about to fill them with flour, sugar, coffee, and — I’m not sure what else. The smallest one, what should I put in it? Probably cocoa, because I put some in the French press when I make coffee.
Grandma also gave me the beginnings of what became a full set of china, and every so often at Christmas she would give me a set of crystal glassware. When she died we found a set of silver under her bed that no one laid claim to, and I asked if I could have it. She had probably picked it up at an estate sale. That woman loved her an estate sale. I think she felt about fabrics and linens the way I feel about paper.
I really, really miss my Grandma tonight.