Have you ever had one of those moments when the smell of something or the taste of something just immediately takes you to another place and time…and if you are lucky it is not only a good… but a great place and time…that happened to me today on my tractor.
As soon as I took the first bite of my ham sandwich I was transported back to some of the best days of my childhood as a student at Dover Elementary School. I remember opening that H. R. Puffenstuff metal lunchbox with the matching thermos that had a little cup with a handle on the lid. That thermos was always filled with the absolute best sweet tea ever made.
That ham sandwich was always perfect…just the right amount of mayonnaise (ALWAYS Kraft) and mustard. Sunbeam white bread with the crust (I was NOT one of those kids…although I would end up having one of my own). A piece of lettuce for that little crunch and doesn’t lettuce and ham just go together anyway. My sandwich was always cut in half…sometimes I got triangles…sometimes I got rectangles…but it was always cut in half. It was snuggled into one of those little plastic baggies that you kind of tucked in…not zippers or the whole yellow and blue make green kind... it was old school :) My Mama knew some kind of magic trick that made it stay tight so my sandwich stayed fresh and my chips, Nacho Cheese Doritos, always stayed in place…no crumbs in the lunch box.
There were no carrot sticks in my lunchbox…no apples or bananas. But there was a round, tin-foiled, piece of vanilla crème-filled, chocolate covered goodness made by Hostess called a Ring Ding. :) :) May I have a moment of silence for the Ring Ding……………and I always got a folded paper towel tucked under my sandwich.
When I started packing my own daughters lunch for Kindergarten….I always wrote messages on her napkins and left her notes and cards in her lunch box. I always wanted her to know that I was thinking about her even when she was away from me and that I loved her ALL THE TIME. I never got messages on my paper towel, or hand written notes, or cards. I never needed them…as soon as I opened that lunchbox, I was immediately and lovingly hit in the face…ever so gently… with all the love that my Mama had so tenderly put into each and every detail of that everyday meal. I had an amazing childhood filled with many wonderful memories. I did not know it then…but I know it now…that was one of my favorite parts of my school day because of all the love my Mama put in my lunchbox.