Blue Shoe Box
I am from a small community in South Carolina.
For a long time, my world was no bigger than two counties. Kershaw and Lancaster. My dad’s family is from the former, and my mom’s family is from the latter.
I spent a lot of time with my moms dad and mom. My Mamaw and Papaw Criminger. They farmed. Most every thing they ate came straight from the field to the table or from some animal they raised.
I remember slaughtering and salting a hog. I remember shucking corn and shelling peas. I remember eating cucumbers straight from the field for a snack and my Papaw having a tiny salt shaker in the front pocket of his overalls for the cucumber.
I remember collecting eggs from his chickens. And I remember his old plow mule, Smoky. Smoky loved bubble gum.
So many memories.
One of my contacts on Twitter posted this tonight:
And I instantly had an overwhelming memory of their house, of the sound and the smell of the old wood heater going in the living room, of the scent of Mamaw’s cooking.
And what my Mamaw and Papaw gave us every single year for Christmas.
A blue shoebox wrapped up all nice. And in that shoebox was an orange, a candy cane, and a five-dollar bill.
That doesn’t seem like much nowadays. It was probably a lot from them. They didn’t have a lot of material things.
But they gave me their world.
I don’t realize how much I have now going back to then. I don’t realize how ungrateful I would probably seem to them in my mindset at times. I have a whole other world that they never saw. A world that would be silly to them.
They gave me simplicity and an appreciation for simple things. I need to remember that more often. They gave me cucumbers, the dirt, friendship with an old mule, and a couple of dogs. And a place to become something from.
And a blue shoe box every Christmas.
That’s it. That’s the post.