Friday, September 9, 2016
That big box of beads came from Grandma Newcomer, and it had a little bit of everything in it. It's long gone now; many, many projects were made from its contents and I have no idea where it ended up. It was a gift for all of us, and we learned how to share (sort of) negotiate (mostly) and fight very, very quietly because of it. It was not unusual to find us sitting around the table on a Saturday afternoon, pawing through it, picking out special beads, and looking for more of our favorites.
Sometimes there were more, and sometimes there weren't. Imagine the horror of finding that special bead, and then noticing that its mate is sitting on the table in front of your sister. Was it special to her? Did she know that she had a treasure, your treasure? Would she change her mind and put it back if you stayed quiet; or did she really and truly love it as much as you did, and was she, even now, looking for more? Would she find another one before you did? If she did, would she give it up? Could you ask for it, very casually, and get it for a small price; or would she sense your desperation and demand blood?
Those are surprisingly good memories.
But this jar is all mine. It was a gift from my friend, Marcia DeCoster. It was a joke gift, but I love it. Whenever I want to, I can run my fingers through these beads and find treasures. It's childhood in a jar for me, but without the fear of loss. The mate to a special bead may be in there, or it may not. The hunt is on, and my childhood just got rosier.