When I announced the topic "Little Boxes" for this week's Round Robin Photo Challenge, I inevitably thought of two things. One was the song popularized by Pete Seeger:
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
I used to live in a little box like that, more than once in my life. The house I lived in as a young child was so small that my brother's room was only accessible through mine. He didn't allow me in his room, and of course I couldn't keep him out of mine. Once in revenge I locked his door from the inside and closed it, creating quite a fuss as my parents (and, if memory serves, a neighbor or two) tried to get it open again.
Many years later, in the early 1990s, John and I lived in a miserably small house with concrete block walls that I dubbed The Shoebox. I was going to photograph that for you, but I never got over there with the camera. Some other time.
The other little boxes I thought of were these jewelry boxes, which are currently a horrible mess. This is because I recently packed up the bits of my mom's jewelry that I could bear to part with, and took it to a local antiques and collectibles store. I got $20 for the ten or so items they deigned to take at all, and even at that the implication was they were doing me a favor. But enough of my whining. Let's see what's left, box-wise!
Here are two of the more interesting boxes, in terms of the boxes themselves. My favorite is this wooden one, given to me by my grandmother when I was a little girl. I've always been under the impression that it was from Morocco, probably because Grandmother gave me a little round camel-hide purse from Morocco at about the same time. As an adult I found a larger version of this same wooden box in an antique shop. Naturally, I bought it.
I should mention that I'm embarrassed to show you my favorite box in this condition, so thick with dust. It settles in the cracks of the carving, and is a bear to get out completely. I usually rinse it off with water, which can't be good for the wood.
The other box, made of cardboard, was my mom's. I find it a little remarkable that something this flimsy has survived so many decades.
As an adult I lined my carved wooden box with red fabric stapled around bits of cardboard, and filled it with some of my better (or at least, my favorite) pieces of jewelry. If you look carefully you can see an IDIC lying upside down in there. I bought this piece of Vulcan jewelry (as in Star Trek) from Lincoln Enterprises circa 1972. I haven't reorganized things properly since the debacle with the second hand store, but sometimes I have a silver Hopi ring in this box, and a Zuni one, and my grandmother's ruby ring, which doesn't fit me properly.
Inside the cardboard box is a letter opener that I thought might be ivory, but which is probably bakelite or some other plastic. My mom also had quite a bit by way of of fake pearls and cultured pearls, but more than once I've gotten them out only to play 52-Pearl Pickup as a string broke on a bracelet or necklace. To be honest, my Mom's jewely has not behaved in a way that encourages me to wear it. It seems that everything either breaks, is missing stones, or is too small for my wrist.
This plastic box dates to the mid-1980s, when I worked at a Columbus, Ohio record store chain called Buzzard's Nest. (I've told that story before, so let me just link to that and move on.) This particular image of John Lennon, based on the picture of in in the 1968 "White Album," was very popular on merchandise in the years after his murder. I found this box recently in a storage box, and have been pondering what to put in it. Paper clips? push pins? It's a little larger than a pack of cigarettes. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that, back in the day, lots of Lennon fans used these little boxes to store their marijuana and/or hash pipe. (I didn't.)
You can tell the size of this little box by what's immediately above and below it. Inside is a sewing kit and a few other odds and ends. I think it came from a gift of candy in my First Magnus days (2005-2007). I kept the box because I like it a lot. The old fashioned winter sceene continues on the inside of the box.
Here are two little boxes that I didn't think of at all in connection with this topic, until I happened to spot them looking for the lid of another box. They contain the ashes of two of our dogs, Tuffy and Noodle. I'm sorry to feature something so depressing, but it didn't seem right to leave these boxes out once I'd noticed them.
But my all-time favorite gift-in-a-little-box came on my birthday in March, 2008. This plush dog was in this little striped box, and for a moment I couldn't understand why John seemed so proud of such a paltry (but cute) gift. Then he said, "Did you look on the inside of the box lid?" There was a piece of paper, which said, "I.O.U. one genuine dog or puppy of your choice." Within a week, we went to an adoption fair at Petsmart and come home with Lady Heather, soon to be known as Pepper. Best birthday present ever.
Now let's check out the other Robins' little boxes!
as of 12:23 PM MST, Saturday October 22
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