By Leneé Cobb
One must be sure to get inside the carved grooves of this wooden box when dusting. Inside all the ornately carved flowers that decorate the lid, there used to be a picture of an English cottage in the summertime that invited you to visit, if only through a daydream. This is the only thing I have left that belonged to my Grandma and Grandpa Williams. I open it.
The small north window of the old garage is filthy, except for where someone rubbed a small circle. Dust motes swirl within the miniscule beam of sunlight it sheds. Card tables are covered in white sheets that serve as tablecloths, and upon these are all of Grandma’s favorite things: carnival glass $3, the wooden decoupage of the Indian imprinted with the Serenity Prayer 10¢, Avon collectables 25¢, her penny jar that always sat to the left of the porcelain blue kitchen sink. I touch each as I drift by, feeling, like Helen Keller. Searching. Her candy jar had always been on the maple wood coffee table, full of Kraft candies, the white chewy ones with bits of multicolored gumdrops inside.
All of grandpa’s saddles now sit on sawhorses in the back of the garage. There is his western riding saddle $25, his rhinestone show saddle $50, his cavalry saddle $20, and Paint’s old pony saddle that I’ll never use again. Grandma and Grandpa’s household furniture, even their bedroom set with the oval-mirrored vanity, strewn along the insides of the garage behind the centered tables, breadcrumbs leading me to unforgotten places.
People arrive. The garage becomes crowded. My job is to stand beside the table where they pay. As they do, I place the money in this pretty hand carved cigar box. All the money for everything Grandma and Grandpa owned touches inside this box.