One by one, I pick through the little tin box of postcards. Cards I have saved for years. Why? This was our little box of memories, relationships and dreams. Our stories. Each one has a tale to tell. So let’s see… closing my eyes, I randomly slide my fingers between a few postcards and take out just one.
Viola. Here in my hand is a picture of a bean crock, full of beans, with a big slab of bacon on top. Along side, the recipe for Boston Baked Beans. It’s from the Gleason Family. Boy, do they know me. Of course they do, we camp with the Gleason’s every summer. In the same tent – once.
The next card is from Germany. Whaddya know? It’s from Anja, our German friend. She was visiting Bad Kissingen. Was she dropping hints to us about the shortcomings of her new romance, Dirk?
I dipped my hand in for another: Graceland. Must be from Murray, he’s crazy about Elvis. On the back he writes, ” THE KING LIVES” and in what I imagine his best Elvis impersonation, “THANK YA VERY MUCH– Murr”
Filtering through the pile of postcards, I find two postcards kind of stuck together. Picture this, a beautiful, blond, babe on the beach, holding up a surfboard. You know, the type of girl the Beach Boys sing about. I remember this one. Carli sent it from surf camp while visiting Uncle Arne in California. I peel the cards apart. On back she wrote, ” Dear Mom, this picture looks like you.”
The other had a picture of a fisherman in a canoe. Biting the bait is a bass as big as a bus. The caption reads, Fishing is GREAT in Oregon. On the back she wrote, ” Dear Dad, this picture looks like you.” Hmmm… I wonder who she gets that from? On both, a small pair of red lipsticked lips.
Stacks and stacks and STACKS of postcards from Michigan. I like this one: State Rock: the Petoskey stone. And this one, a postcard survey from “The Climb” Sleeping Bear Dunes. Two boxes to check- box one: I climbed sleeping bear; or box two: Took one look ‘n gave up. On back, a congratulatory note, “Mt. St. Helens? Nice job, must have been some hike? Hope there were a couple cold ones at the bottom. Wish I was there. Michigan Bob.”
Then I came across a postcard from New York City. There she was, the Statue of Liberty holding the flame high. Ominously looming in the background, the Twin Towers. Maybe I won’t look to see who this was from.
Here’s one to Carli from Sweden. A lady is delicately painting a hand carved Swedish horse. A Dala horse. Yep, I knew it, this is from Morfar. Yes, Morfar. Swedish for mothers father. You got it, Hali’s Father. We call him Morfar.
Getting close to half-way through the box another card catches my eye. It’s a perfect pint of beer. Wiggle the card back and forth and I see two tap handles, Guinness and Bass Ale. Wiggle, the mystery revealed. Wiggle, experience the black and tan. Wiggle it faster…black and tan, black and tan, black… Whew! I’m getting thirsty. Far out, a 3-D postcard! Pretty obvious who this came from.
Oh hey, what’s this? Rolling Stones- Candlestick Park 1981 sticker stub. Yea, Mick Jagger, man, could that guy boogie on stage. Okay, okay already, ticket stubs, chapter 8.
Ah Bellagio, Lake Como. Lori, my sister, sent us this one. She writes that the lake is stunning, the food bland, and she can’t wait for dinner served on the flight home. What, bland food? MAMA MIA! Either she thinks the food at the Italian joint in the strip mall around the corner in her home town is delizioso or she’s flying back in George Clooney’s private jet from Como. Buon Appitito!
Cyril, our French student who we hosted many years ago still sends us postcards from all over the world. Here’s one from the Seychelles. Nice! The beaches on the Seychelles, still on our wish list. Some day, some day. Que sera, sera. (dreamy sigh).
Nearing the bottom of the tin, a couple of blue booklets. Wow! Our first passports!! Dang, I thought we lost these. Opening them up, a couple of fresh young faces. Issue date, November 1984. Two holes punched through the stamped pages. Oh yea, these are long expired.
Tucked inside the stamped pages was a laminated card. Our International Youth Hostel card. Strapped with bulging backpacks, Hali and her Farrah Fawcett hair, me wearing the Happily Mauied t-shirt I bought while honeymooning the year before, rail passes in hand. There we were, footloose and fancy free. We were goin’ places.
Wait…the box is empty. No, no the box is not empty. The box is quite full. You see, that little tin box not only holds our passports and postcards, it’s also a perfect place for our wishes, our dreams, our inspirations.
I think I’ll take Bob up on those beers. Make it a couple black and tans and meet Hali and I at The Celt in Dublin, North of the Liffey.
Wish you were here…