Tour in a Box
There was a time when our last child was out of the house and Dave was still working. I travelled with him a lot during those years. At that time, we had five young school-age grandchildren. Whenever we took a nice trip – Costa Rica, Ireland, Rome, Fatima – rather than purchasing everyone t-shirts or toys, I made them each a gift called Tour in a Box. First, I wrote the story of the trip. I showed the map and how we got there. I told them something special about each day, things I learned, saw, or did that were unique in games, puzzles and pictures. As the story progressed, it would say, Now open surprise package # 1, or #5, whatever. Each box had about ten little surprise packages containing a shell from the beach, or maybe some ‘foreign’ money, something they’d not seen before; from Hawaii, little containers of different colored sand, and volcanic rock. From Costa Rica, a chunk of sugar cane was the surprise that went with telling about the sugar cane. Mostly the little packages were things I picked up. I created colorful covers, and using the plastic coil binder, the story pages became a book. I packed each collection in a box and mailed it to them. I guess these were really the first books I wrote!
In recent years, my oldest daughter, whose two sons received several Tour-in-a-Box from Grandma, and are now both married, was doing what I’m doing now, packing and discarding to relocate. She came upon the boxes in the boys’ empty closets. She thought I might like to have them, so she put them in my attic! I enjoyed seeing them again and have picked out a few things I think a young granddaughter would like to see. She wasn’t born at the time and now is a very inquisitive learner who likes rocks and fossils, and all things new to her. She’ll be receiving First Eucharist next month, so she might like to see the Fatima and Rome stories. I think I might save the bound books, but it’s probably time to let the little surprises go. Their shelf life has expired.