The Narrative of Ephemera

Last weekend we had a last hurrah with our dear friends Jack and Lisa.  They moved to North Carolina last summer, but didn’t sell their house in the Northwest until recently.  They were back to pack; we went up to send them off. 

Lisa is a master of organization.  Normally, her refrigerator has charts, lists and menus on the sides which are beautiful in their order.  This trip I had to be content with reading all the notes to the movers and watching her execute her moving plan. 

The last battle to conquer was the garage.  One section had empty boxes which had been reserved for potential use, but not needed after all.  We got to work breaking them down for the recycle center. 

Now boxes are boxes, right?  Empty containers to be re-used.

Ah, my friend; so many boxes held a story in the empty spaces. 

Lisa held up a box that had my brother Danny’s return address.  She remembered what was sent in the box, a gift for the girls (obviously my sister-in-law Valeri was behind that). 

The one that delighted me was a box which had contained a case of baby formula.  The box had my name on the top right hand corner, with a notation “No Charge” on the side.  Fourteen years ago, Safeway had a drawing for a case of baby formula.  I phoned Lisa and asked which brand she preferred for her two  newly adopted daughters.  I entered the drawing and won! 

A bucket of matches from various restaurants (do they still give those away?) took us back to our college days.

Isn’t it amazing how a bit of cardboard glued together can evoke such memories? 

Do you save boxes? 

I used to love shoe boxes, but they’ve flimsified.

Boot boxes make great mailing containers at Christmas.

I love Amazon.com boxes.

I really like Lang note card boxes – strong and pretty for small gifts.

Paper boxes are wonderful: uniform, nice lids, great containers.

What are your favorite boxes to save?

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6 thoughts on “The Narrative of Ephemera

  1. Yes, I save boxes….for several years, until it is clear that I am not going to need it for some special use…or another one takes its place.Hmmm, maybe I should take a picture of the pretty boxes that I have stacked in my basement.  They are empty, but each has a designated recipient.Weird, huh?

  2. Who would have thought such memories would be conjured up during box breaking down time?  Glad you could make it up this weekend.  It was good to see you.  

  3. I have the boxes my special crystal gifts from my husband came in. They are very sturdy, small and the lids fit so snuggly on top. I have a very small box with strips on the bottom part. A ring came in that one. I still have the boxes my wedding rings came in. Small boxes all.

  4. Oh, I know one:  the boxes that perfume sets come in!  I have several Lancome ones that I like not only because they’re sturdy, but also because I like the peachy color 🙂

  5. boxes…hmm… thinking about it – i have to go out and buy boxes – not cheap – to store photos, birthday cards, movie tickets, childhood drawings, and other ephimera; i’ll have to keep my eyes open for what really comes in a box nowadays or buy more boxed things

  6. We use the Hummel boxes (gifts our German exchange student brought in 2001) to hold the kids’ vocabulary 3x5s.  Sturdy boxes are better than sliced bread!

Comments are cinnamon on my oatmeal!

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