Boxes For All Reasons

The Dream Box

Posted on: June 14, 2011

Sarah and her family were visiting Sarah’s Great Aunt Ginger.  Aunt Ginger lived in a big old house in the hills in Northern California. Sarah was usually bored on these visits to Aunt Ginger’s house.  Aunt Ginger was a vegan so the food was mostly various forms of tofu, all of which Sarah found very dull.  On the second day of their visit, Sarah was sitting in the bedroom assigned to her family reading a Harry Potter book. She’d read it 10 times before, but it was more interesting than going for a hike with Aunt Ginger and her parents and her little brother. She got up to stretch and walked over to look in the drawers of the dresser that Aunt Ginger had not cleaned out for her family to use. She knew this was wrong. Those drawers were private. But she just wanted to take a peek. In the first one she found a box. It wasn’t a very big box. It was a light-colored wood with little tiny box like shapes at the corners. The lid said “Dream Box.”  Sarah knew she shouldn’t open the box, but she did. There were many small pieces of paper in the box. She recognized Aunt Ginger’s handwriting on them, but it looked like the handwriting had faded. She looked at the first piece of paper. It said “I want to kiss Paul McCartney on the lips.” Sarah, at eight years old, was grossed out. And she wasn’t sure who Paul McCartney was. Another piece of paper said “I want to be a movie star like Audrey Hepburn.” Sarah had no idea who Audrey Hepburn was. Another piece said “I want John to stay home instead of going to Canada or Vietnam.” This was more interesting. John was Sarah’s grandfather. She knew he went to Vietnam to fight in a war many Americans thought we shouldn’t have been fighting. She wondered why he might’ve gone to Canada instead of to Vietnam. Certainly we never fought a war against Canada.

Sarah heard the front door open. The hikers were back. She closed the lid quickly but very carefully and put the box back where she found it. At dinner that night Aunt Ginger and her parents and her little brother told her how much fun the hike was. Then Aunt Ginger asked her if she had a good time reading Harry Potter. Sarah said yes, but she asked who Paul McCartney was.  Aunt Ginger and her parents all began talking about the Beatles and which Beatle was their favorite and Paul McCartney conducting symphonies. Then Sarah asked why someone would go to Canada instead of Vietnam. All three of the grown-ups began explaining the Vietnam War and the fact that people who didn’t believe we should be fighting the war and didn’t want to be drafted to fight in the war went to Canada. Finally, Sarah asked who Audrey Hepburn was. Aunt Ginger looked at Sarah as if a puzzle was fitting together in her mind. Then she smiled “you found my Dream Box, didn’t you.”

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