mama said never judge the inside by the outside
She was a clever one. And she loved practical jokes.
They were probably separate Christmases, but they’re fused together in my mind.
We were still in the little house. I sat on the couch facing the bathroom door and the tree draped with single strands of tinsel, oil stove on my left, gray formica table on my right, across from the chartreuse cupboards.
She was sending me on another hunt that took me under cushions, into the medicine cabinet, behind the toaster until I opened the oven door. Disappointed, I sniffed that I did not want the turkey for Christmas. But stuffed inside was a large, rag-type dancing doll, with straps on her feet to attach to mine.
I remember squealing with delight when I ripped the paper off the hairdryer box. I wanted a hairdryer so bad. But inside, was a pair of orange and black stretch pants (our school colors.) Stretch pants were in then. I’d really hoped for black. These would do. But my eyes stung with disappointment.
When the gift-receiving was over, someone found a note on the tree.
“Dear Sandy. Look in the laundry tub.”
So outside I trudged, through the snow, into the motel utility room. And there, lying in the bottom of the tub was the hairdryer that belonged in the box.
I still remember my mom’s words.
“Never judge the inside by the outside of the box.”
That along with “this, too, shall pass” are two pieces of wisdom she passed on, two pieces of her I carry, two pieces of wisdom I hope will live on in my children and grandchildren.
My mom was witty and wise right up to her last days. I wrote about a couple special instances while we were encamped with her in the hospice house. Here are the links in case you haven’t seen them.
Stilled by the memories,
In community with Lisa Jo and company on the prompt:
In just five minutes, tell me all about what your mama did that made her yours.