When the New Year arrives, I’m ready for it. No holding onto the past. No looking back. When the sun dawns on January one, I greet it with eyes wide open, staring down the clean slate delivered by twelve months of fresh Monday’s. Indeed, it’s a rather peppy meeting—me extending a hearty handshake to ring in The New.
I was, therefore, surprised to find myself on Saturday, slowly unpacking the brown boxes that saintly sister, Natalie, had salvaged and stored for me these last months. A few random relics set aside when Grandma moved from house to nursing home.
“Do you want Grandma’s china?” she had asked.
“Sure.” I’d replied. To not take it would be ungrateful. Unthoughtful. Undutiful. Right?
Three big boxes entrusted to me, leaving their only known home, journeying across the Rocky Mountains to mine.
I’d had no intention to unpack them. We didn’t need dishes. I was sure they wouldn’t match. But curiosity crept momentarily into my memory, and I tugged at the top of one box and unwrapped a single, smooth yellow teacup, golden wheat and a friendly flower smiling from its painted face. The cup was sturdier than I’d remembered. Shinier than I’d thought. I pressed it’s cold porcelain sides between my warm hands. There. Right there were the memories.
Kneeling on the vinyl chairs to glimpse through the glass of Grandma’s kitchen her yellow china. Gleaming stacks of fragile plates and bowl and cups. And a stout gravy boat displayed safely until special occasions called for their use.
Picking cherries from the cherry tree in the back yard.
Swinging. Swinging. Swinging on Grandpa’s red swing.
The cozy smell of oil and gas in Grandpa’s shed when you’d go to fetch the pogo stick.
The mesmerizing collection of mermaids hanging on the bathroom wall.
Chicken soup with pepper. Grilled cheese with mayo.
Kisses and tears whenever a good bye was said.
Standing there in my kitchen. Holding those memories in my hand, I realized they were sturdier than I’d remembered. Shinier than I thought.
And I was so glad. So glad to welcome them home.