I have no crafted verse for you readers out there today, only some memories from Life, The Universe, and Everything.
Upon folding and rearranging some clothing today I found a long forgotten lace soap sachet that Mom had made when I was probably around six or seven years old. We were living in Texas at the time and my father was stationed on a Navy Minesweeper. The bar of soap is still the same one that Mom originally put in there, Caress, wrapped in a dusty rose lace with a thin matching ribbon tying it shut. When Mom gave it to me and told me to put it in my dresser drawer I wanted to know why. Simply, “You’re supposed to put it in your dresser, it’ll make your clothes smell nice.” So I put it in there and it has been kept with the rotating clothes of its assigned drawer in three different dressers, over fifteen years, and four different states.
Among the memories from Texas I remember making a treasure map that corresponded to the back yard with invisible obstacles that my brother and I used to navigate through in our adventures, making certain to avoid the deadly sticky burr patches. The day prior to Thanksgiving climbing up in the pecan tree collecting and shelling them for Mom to make chocolate pecan pie. Learning to ride a bike and singing songs from the Chess musical loudly while speeding down the sidewalk. Hours of playing Mortal Kombat at the neighbor’s house.
Early gray mornings riding in the back of the pickup truck while we dropped Poppa off at his ship for 6-month long deployments. Sad hugs and tears asking him if he could just stay home instead. Walking out on the rock jetty so that we could wave goodbye to his ship as it left the harbor. The 6-month calendar Mom printed and taped to the kitchen wall so that we could “X” off each day that passed until he came home again. The letters Pop and I wrote back in forth to each other. Poppa would draw little cartoon ants in his letters as commentary to his letter. I still have every single one tucked away. The frantic excitement of “homecoming” to greet the ship when it pulled back in. The emotional reunions of hugging my weary (and even more tanned from months at sea) Poppa on his return home. Sometimes we’d be standing for nearly two hours in chilly and rainy weather waiting for the ship to dock. I remember one time the ship was secure but Poppa couldn’t leave yet on this cold rainy day, so they had us go up on the ship and wait. It was freezing and miserable and anything you touched chilled you to the bone, Poppa brought us some orange and vanilla ice cream from the messdeck as a treat while we waited. Nothing has ever quite matched the taste of the ice cream from that day.
The smell of that soap has been in my drawer all this time, it was new then, a part of all these memories. I know I’ll never get rid of it. One day I’ll make a new one to go alongside it as well as one for those in my own young family when the time comes. It’s the little things in life that actually are a part of the big things.
Until next time,