Monday, June 20, 2016


My family has a lot of orange boxes. They're the best boxes for moving. Any citrus, really, lemons and grapefruit work as well. You can overstuff them slightly and close the top down on top and it all fits after all. They are double thick because they are essentially two boxes put together. Like banana boxes, but without the big hole in the bottom of them like banana boxes. Apples are a close second, of course. A little bigger, though, and they get heavier when you stuff them full.

I know a lot about boxes you steal from supermarket dumpsters.

It kind of sucks that I do.

But it's kind of cool on the other hand.

Liquor boxes are great for ornaments. Take out the innards and they're perfect for books.

Banana boxes work for kids' clothes.

Orange boxes are good for almost anything.

I have a plastic box I purchased at Target that I keep my ornaments in. So do my parents--they eventually stopped needing liquor boxes for storage, having finally settled into one place. But orange boxes, they're good for what ails you.

I inherited the fabric to make the last few Triple Irish Chain quilts that I have grown fond of making for the people I love. Inherited it along with a box marked with my uncle's (and godfather's) name. I was nearly as excited by the box as I was by the fabric. Wrapped carefully inside in industrial plastic, and then wrapped in newspaper from 1973 (guess what: Peabody Coal was fussing back then about labor relations, and airport security had just tightened and made people mad, oh, and there was a white sale at Styx Baer and Fuller). Sunkist.

Sun kissed.

The only thing that would have made it better would have been the cargo tape from Ozark Airlines.

I walk through Soulard Market with Brooklyn, buying fruit and tomatoes. I point to a lemon box on the ground under a stall. “That's a good box,” I say.

“Mom.” She says it without impatience. Just enough inflection to remind me that I don't have to know about boxes like that anymore.

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