Christmas Gift Traditions Remind Us of How Much We Are Loved
Yesterday was a special day for me. I came home to two packages on the front porch. I knew immediately what they were because of the familiar shape of the boxes.
One contained Mother’s Macaroons from my sister Kathy. Yum yum. I was restrained. I only ate two last night. She’s been sending them for at least 10 years.
The other package contained Pittman & Davis grapefruit from my sister-in-law Anita. She’s been sending the box of grapefruit for the past couple of years now because my brother used to send it before he died of cancer three years ago. Actulally, in 2007 I received two boxes of grapefruit — because my brother David didn’t know Anita was sending it and David figured he was the next son in line to carry on the tradition that my parents had started years ago. Anita won out. She has the highly privileged job of sending the family grapefruit.
Pittman & Davis grapefruit reminds me of the love of my parents.
Both of my parents are dead now. Every year they used to send a huge box of grapefruit and we could never find enough refrigerator space to keep it. My ex-husband whined for whatever reasons. I loved the delicious ruby red grapefruit from South Texas.
I took the boxes of grapefruit for granted — until after my Daddy died.
Mom had died in March 2004 and Daddy died at Thanksgiving time in 2006. We spent two weeks clearing out his apartment at the Hampton in Houston.
I was working in the living room when I heard my sister exclaim from Dad’s office, “The receipt for the onions! You found the receipt for the onions! I can’t believe you found the receipt for the onions.” I went in to see what all the commotion was about and Kathy was holding an old paper receipt from Pittman & Davis dated sometime in 1937. Daddy had saved it for all those years and had neatly placed it in his desk drawer with other important mementos.
I had never heard the story of how my parents met. ( I was the last of five kids and I never paid any attention. Now I wish I had been more “present.”)
I guess it was the year 1937 and my mother was the college roomate of my father’s sister Gerrie at Mary Hardin BaylorCollege in Belton, Texas. Daddy had seen my mother’s photograph and wanted to meet my mother. So he drove up from the Valley to visit his sister.
Evidently the girls were washing their hair in the river — no kidding, that’s what I heard. Daddy drove to the river and met my mother.
He was driving a truckload of Pittman & Davis sweet onions. He had saved that receipt for that truckload of onions for 67 years!
My parents, Cleo and Burt Matteson, were married for more than 65 years when Mommy died. I never had a clue how much they loved each other until we went through their stuff.
I just put an entire ruby red grapefuit in my Vita-Mix and am drinking my grapefruit juice as I write this blog. Yum!