Little Things

Grief is a strange thing. It affects everyone differently, and I’ll not go into my most recent experience. Whew! You say. People say it’s the little things you remember that mean the most.

My father traveled a lot for work, when I was growing up, and later upon retirement for leisure. Weeks before he passed we were supposed to go, en famille, on a cruise down the Rhine and visit his parents birthplaces in Germany and Switzerland. We didn’t get there. But he did travel the world and always brought back something from the countries he visited.

When he started going to Florence, Italy regularly the gifts changed. At first in the fall, he’d always bring back the olio novello, the newest, first pressing of the olives. Now, if I wanted, I could order it online but this was back in the day, and it was special as it came from him. As he got older, he traveled lighter, and didn’t like the thought of a bottle of olive oil breaking in his suitcase.

He started on Ferragamo scarves. Impressive silk scarves with a hint of whimsy that I loved. Then he changed to little boxes. I have them all over the house now. Made of metal, wood or paper, they echo the ambiance of the places from whence they came. That is to say, they didn’t come from airport gift shops! That would be my husband, and because of my rule of nothing breakable, nothing collectible so he gets me a refrigerator magnet from anywhere he goes. Tomorrow when Lulu (the dog) and I go pick him up at the airport, I’m sure he’ll show up with a magnet in the shape of the Alamo!

But I digress. In the middle of my kitchen peninsula, I’ve a cheap plastic timer. It’s an Italian in a chef’s toque. It’s the silliest gift Dad ever gave me, but I see it every day and it brings back fond memories.

I don’t know where they got the idea, but our parents picked a themed Christmas ornament for each kid, every year, then when we moved out of the house, we had enough ornaments and memories to start a tree of our own. It’s similar with travel gifts and photos. They last a lifetime and mean so much to the recipient. Just a thought. Happy Spring! There’s a cruise ship that tours the Great Lakes and it’s pulling into port just now to start the season. Gotta plant the herbs outside and get a tomato plant – I’m not growing from seed this year. Dee


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