I still buy those little coke bottles a couple of times each year. I have these vivid memories of those old Coke machines with the tiny bottles for a nickel. They are so expensive now, it is just a reminder. It is such an old memory not even sure where it is located. I am pretty sure it is connected with Grandma Mick and Paw Paw. I think that machine was in the store at the end of the place where grandma had her beauty shop. She would give us a dime to buy a comic book. That rabbit has lots of other connections, mostly with Christmas and Easter with all our cousins and aunts and uncles. The homemade things to go on the tree that us kids made were usually brighter and more intricate. But the first crude efforts by the young ones admired and encouraged, those sometimes roasted in good fun and practice for an unknown future where they would live in a world that is not always nice.
That white souffle dish has many memories of good foods and times and love and kids and warm feelings and good tastes. I don’t remember growing up every even hearing the word, but new foods and tastes is part of the world, and sometimes becomes part of your own. That lantern with an electric bulb is an anachronism. It does not fit easily into my own Christmas, but for some reason reminds me of the rare “rich” relatives who could afford such things outside. It does evoke memories of porch lights in many places; and reminds me of the many many places we lived as a family and had our Christmas seasons.
The pine needles are a given. Never a Christmas without it. The one the comes to mind for some reason is the Christmas in San Antonio where Paw Paw was Santa and we drove around to look at Christmas lights while they set things up. I think I got a microscope. Not sure why, but I am looking at microscopes again recently for some reason. That thing has many good feelings attached to it. It makes me happy and warm. Maybe every child’s love of science comes from the love their parents and grandparents put into choosing and giving us things we could not otherwise afford or try.
The red berry bush definitely is Mom. My mind has a treasure trove of images connected to her crafts and images she gave to use to show the world is much larger and more varied than where we are and what we can see. “There is never a place where you cannot see the bigger picture” – is the best I can paraphrase that message from her. That included heaven, angels, and constant prayer for the world and all people you know, and all people you don’t know, but who deserve our prayers because we are all God’s well beloved children.
When I first looked at that, “Oh just another Christmas thing”. But gently tracing out the associated memories, in context, was a wonderful and warm reminder of many good times and people.
Thank you. I am going to look deeper in the future. And take more time to let the memories and images filter in. Hah! Now I have this craving for the tiniest sip of Coca-Cola. Images and memories, but ads stay out please!
Richard K Collins near Christmas 2021