3.24.2010

What to do with a box

Taking the giant leap from shopping weekly to bi-monthly means we buy in BULK. Like 15 pounds of oranges, 4 pound bags of quinoa, too many chocolate chips (possible?) and 10 pounds of oatmeal. Lots of food, lots of boxes. We recycle most of the boxes, either at the recycling center or as storage or use them for shipping.

My kids claim quite a few too. The big flat fruit boxes that Costco packs your groceries in make excellent sleds for baby otter to ride in. Kids? not so much. But they keep trying and our old yellow dog keeps dragging the scotch taped on handle right off the sled in her lust for a half a crumbled dog biscuit in exchange for "pulling the sled" (aka destroying it) Both parties seem happy with the system so I don't complain.

We had an odd box this last trip from 10 pounds of oatmeal.Yes, indeed that IS a lot of oatmeal, but we'll eat it up soon enough. The box though, didn't get crushed or used to start a bonfire it just got kicked around for a few days next to the recycling bins. Monday night our four was wandering around a bit, looking to fit in but also feeling a bit out of sorts, nothing was interesting. I let him wander a bit while I puttered with dinner. He found a bit of brothers 'treasure' and wanted to give it to him. I suggested we wrap it up as a way to spend a few minutes with my boy while dinner was working it's magic. We got out an envelope and practiced writing big brother's name, added the jewel, sealed it but it was missing something. We decided to mail it and grabbed up the oatmeal box, dropped it through the handle holes. Voila! a mailbox was born.

The four was entranced. He methodically wrote letters to everyone. When he went to bed I mailed both little boys a letter. They were thrilled to have mail in the morning. There is a certain joy in opening a mailbox and finding someone has taken the time to write a few words to you. A craft I'm sure must be suffering in this day. I can't remember the last time I got a letter in the mail. Until now that is.

We set out to make our box more permanent this morning, we decided to duct tape it. Can you tell we live right next door to Wasilla, the town that buys the most duct tape every year? Anyway we spent a long morning cutting, discussing and mummifying the mailbox in duct tape. Union, 6, set about making a flag, which you can lower and raise for the mailbox. Lastly we concocted a little latch handle to keep the door from getting pushed inside.

A box of full of old envelopes(thrifted), labels (thrifted), index cards and pieces of junk-ish mail proved a good addition to the mix. Plus a nice selection of pencils and markers. I also hand printed out a list of frequently used words like Mom, Dad, brother, dog, love and thank you, so they can successfully write up simple notes by themselves.
We enjoyed our morning although we all got a bit grouchy, then I realized it was snack time. After a quick fruit break we were back on track. I count this among the holy moments my kids have given me. Quietly working, sun on my back, sharing, talking, laughing and succeeding.

Peace and Love

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PS-the letter I wrote to Union, 6, asked him how his tooth was, it has been awfully loose for a long time, this morning before coming downstairs he was pushing it with his tongue and POP it fell right out, he thought it was funny to get a letter about his tooth after it fell out
obligatory lost tooth shot, why yes, yes he IS wearing his abominable snowman halloween costume I made him when he was four, and you ARE right it IS on backwards

7 comments:

  1. haha my mom and brother duct tape packages to mail to me too! J always jokes and says they are "uni-bomber" mail. hehe When anybody else mails it's always a brand new clean box w/ only one label and clear tape. When myfamily mails it's a used box w/ 8 labels crossed off and duct tape. :P

    And you got handwritten mail for Valentine's day!! a BEAAAAUTIFUL handcrafted card! ;)

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  2. You're right of course. I did receive TWO handmade cards for valentines day. I loved that. Thanks Christina :)

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  3. Your mailbox reminds me so much of Valentine's Day in grammar school ... and how excited we'd get every year when it came time to make and decorate the mailbox.

    I love, love this post and your mailbox project. Its wonderful! Oh, and congrats to Union on the lost tooth! :)

    P.s. - I don't know ... did I enter your give-away? Did my comment on Meatless Monday qualify or do I need to go to the give-away post? My brain is a sieve these days. LOL

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  4. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who eats 100 pounds of quinoa in one sitting.

    You do that don't you?

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  5. um yeah Amanda whatever YOU say :D I prefer flax meal and a gallon of water though.

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  6. Nope Diva, you gotta go to the le creuset post and drop one there :D

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  7. before I moved out on my own my family hid the duct tape from me. I'd use it on enevlopes, gifts, posters, and more.
    What an interesting fact that one town uses more tape than any other.

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