Cold, solid, gray metal or white plastic. A vessel for water or waste to travel through. Easily clogged. When, blocked, product or bleach must be poured in to remove the sludge. Smells of algae and feces. On the other hand, pipe cleaners, are cute, colorful, fuzzy instruments, which children often use to make arts and crafts. The antennae or legs of a bug, all squiggly. Soft short hairs, surrounding on center of twisted wire. Pointy to the touch on the ends. The smell of glue and glitter and gold fish snacks at the arts & crafts table of the preschool.
Glad this one was 10 min, I could have written about this subject for hours, about the MREs we ate (meals ready to eat), syphoning gas out of totaled cars, finding a giant snapping turtle along with my grand piano in the deep end of our swimming pool…
Growing up in south Mississippi, with a house on the beach, hurricanes were something I always was aware of. Each summer we had to watch the weather closely, in case anything, even a tropical storm were to form in the Gulf or Pacific. Often preparing our house with hurricane shutters on the windows, taping glass, & packing up our most important belongings to travel away with. Eleven years ago yesterday, however, my life shook with the force of 174 mph winds. My house on the beach washed away by a near 30 ft storm surge. Luckily my family & I got out with most of our important possessions, and we were lucky enough to own another residence in north Mississippi to retreat to. We left in the middle of the night after the storm hit to attempt the return home before ALL of the roads were closed. We were able to make it to the coast, however, not able to drive down the streets to our house. Luckily our larger boat had been parked up the river & survived the storm, on this boat I lived for the first few days following the storm. Thankfully we had enough gas to run the engine a few hours a day for air conditioning. However, I was very ill during this time & the heat of south Mississippi summer was no help at all. My cousin set up a hammock & slept on the slab of my house to protect it. While many others spray painted threatening signs that said “You loot, we shoot.” The smell was unbearable. Mississippi mud & Sludge dug up from the depths. I can still remember that smell today 11 years later. School was out for months. We had no belongings. Merely a few pairs of undergarments.
Hand-painted holiday placemats that always seem to stick to the table. Rectangular, with chopped off corners. Year round, outside of holidays, they had flowers. They remind me of home cooked meals. We never eat at home anymore. The kitchen went out of commission long ago! Today placemats are cloth, because there is no food to spill on them. While the other ones wiped off easily. Placemats and table settings. Fashionably designed name plates. Turkeys and pilgrims at Thanksgiving. The Annieglass chargers and dinner plates of the finest china. Sparkling cutlery and crystal water goblets. A pitcher full of sweet tea sits in the middle of the table along with the butter and gravy. Each place delicately marked so that not one feels left out. Places chosen strategically. The smell of green bean casserole and dressing fills the air. & for dessert, a red velvet cake, or grandma’s homemade sweet rolls-or both. Fresh rolls on the table swaddled in a cloth laying in a basket. Placemats to protect the white table cloth covering the oblong table.
Cold, shiny piece of metal. Half moon shaped with a jewel on one end, a charm dangling from the other. Rusty blood from the piercing fresh and new.
Charlie got the last golden ticket. A moment that would change his life forever. It took him to the land of chocolate, where EVERYTHING was made of candy. You could even eat the flowers & the grass. Smell of sugar swirls & cocoa powder. Sour gum balls & everlasting gobstoppers. Children also received golden tickets in The Polar Express. These tickets allowed them to board a train for a journey to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Once again, a little boy’s life was changed by a golden ticket when he met Santa & received the first gift of Christmas. After that he was an eternal believer in the spirit of Christmas. Golden tickets are not just golden color, they are made of magic & transport children to wondrous lands filled with the unknown. These journeys stay with the children for the rest of their lives. Keeping the children young. The feeling of joy bubbling inside until it overflows onto the people surrounding them. As a wise elf once said, “seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.” You must have faith in something. & these children’s obedience & faith are what led them to the precious prizes. Gifts they received that would last a lifetime. The chocolate factory for Charlie, & the bell from Santa’s sleigh for the little hero boy. A bell that he could hear as long as he still believed, which he always did. Magic is out there, but it takes a pure heart to find it & keep it alive within them. One doesn’t need a ticket to find it, just the lucky ones