Mixed values; unexpected ho-hums

Got some time on my hands. You too? I refuse to use the C word or the P word though. If you’re reading this in say, 2030, and you have no clue what C and P words are, then you indeed are most fortunate. Be deeply thankful. And just go ahead and search for “historic events in the year 2020” if curiosity has the best of ya.

So while roaming about the house during the past week or so, organizing, cleaning, avoiding stir craziness, I came across a few items with stories to tell.

Near the Eiffel Tower we came across a little food kiosk serving Crepes. My niece Kate had advised me prior to the trip “If you go to Paris, you MUST have a banana/Nutella crepe.” We had no idea what Nutella was. But once we saw this Crepe food kiosk our niece’s advice became our new taste bud adventure. Which quickly led to immediate addiction to the wonderment of Nutella. Mmmmmm good.

So back at the hotel the next day I walked across the street to the Monoprix supermarket. Much to my surprise as I was walking the aisles of this magnificent market I discovered Nutella for sale! In this little bitty juice glass with a lid!! My excitement was over the top, near hyperventilation level. The Nutella made the trip back to the states, carefully bundled in protective wrap to prevent glass breakage. It was a priceless treasure. No doubt.

And, one day after arriving home I drove approximately 4 miles to the local Dillon’s store. Much to my surprise right there on the shelf was….. a regular old no-frills plastic jar of Nutella. No big deal, just Nutella. Available right down the street. Good grief. It wasn’t a Paris novelty. It was everywhere. I just had never seen it.

For the record, as you can see by the recent picture, I have kept the little glass and it takes me back to Paris 2008 every time I use it. Also for the record, we don’t really eat Nutella very much anymore. The novelty wore off. As the pounds piled on our bodies.

Treasure #2 which has mixed value involves another work trip for the hubby. Mexicali, Mexico. I asked him to bring me home some Mexican vanilla if he had the chance to shop for any. And he did. He bought an ENORMOUS bottle of Mexican vanilla, just knowing it would win him brownie points. Transporting it home across the Mexican border became bit of an issue. His work buddy had also purchased several bottles of Tequila for his sons so they decided to just ship them all in one package back to Kansas. The cost for shipping far far exceeded the purchase price of any of the items in the shipping box. I mean to tell you, this Mexican vanilla was truly a priceless treasure. And I was impressed.


A few months later we took a camping trip to western Kansas. Stopped in Scott City, population Very Few. Shopped at a local tiny little grocery market for some food to eat while camping at Lake Scott. And right there on one of the little aisles of plain old western Kansas food was…..yes…..the EXACT SAME ENORMOUS BOTTLE OF VANILLA for sale.

Cheap. Real real cheap.

Words cannot describe my emotions as dollar signs flashed in front of my eyes while I thought about the enormous amount of money spent to buy and ship one bottle of the same vanilla from Mexico. Let’s change the subject.

Treasure #3:

Isn’t this a lovely picture? Well, it’s not a great photo capture of it and you can’t even see the artist’s signature. But it’s Thomas Kinkade. Purchased in 1999 when we moved to Wichita and bought a new home. Though we were short on cash we really really wanted a real Thomas Kinkade piece to hang over our fireplace. So we shopped at a high end art store and fell in love with this one. “A Quiet Evening”. The exact one we were looking for after watching some late night shopping network promoting Kinkade’s works. He really was a big deal back then, though.

I don’t know, maybe his artwork is still a big deal. However the other day in Texas we were cruising through WalMart while on yet another camping trip. And right across from the pharmacy shelves full of hemorrhoid cream, laxatives, antacids, PoliGrip dental stuff….. there was an end cap displaying Thomas Kinkade framed artwork. And right there in plain sight was A Quiet Evening. Dirt cheap. Framed and everything.

Enough of that story.

Treasure #4, and final.

This treasure has by far the least monetary value. But it has by far the most sentimental value. Reach into Mom’s kitchen cupboards for a water glass back in the 1960’s and you were most likely going to pull out one of these glasses. Welch’s jelly glass. Eat the jelly, use the glass forever. Purchased at the local Boogaart’s store in Minneapolis, Kansas.

These glasses weren’t only found in Mom’s kitchen cupboards. Before mowing the lawn you might find a couple of them lying in the grass under the trees. Near two chaise lawn chairs. Where the night before Daddy and I had lounged, drinking iced tea and watching the cars drive by on Rothsay Avenue. After we spent time playing catch with a softball on the lawn south of the house.

We still have three of these glasses. In the year 2020. In my own kitchen cupboards. When I open that cupboard to choose a glass for iced tea, there’s no doubt which one I will select. One of the three old Welch’s grape jelly glasses.

And you know exactly what memories play through my head while I drink iced tea from the old jelly glass. Precious memories, that’s what plays. Sweet memories that transport me back to the front yard on Rothsay. Beautifully cut green grass. Sitting by my dad who taught me to throw and catch a softball correctly. As well as how to mow the lawn with his favorite Toro mower.

For a moment, it’s just like there’s no P word or C word. Just sweet warm memories of a much simpler time.

Priceless. No question about the value. No ho-hum. Maybe even a precious hug thrown in for good measure.

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