Today’s Slice of Life entry is inspired by another slicer’s piece about finding joy in little things that others may see as clutter.
When I was a kid, my grandmother always used a ruby red brush set, complete with comb, mirror, and powder box. It sat on her dresser and was used by her everyday. I coveted that set. Whenever we visited, and we visited often, I would go into her bedroom and look at that set. I loved holding it in my hands, rubbing my fingers along the the intricately raised pattern, wondering about the lady in silhouette. Taking out the powder puff–carefully–and applying it to my face–poorly–I would emulate the same motions that I had watched my grandmother use.
Many Saturday nights were spent as sleepovers at Momma and Poppa’s house. At some unknown point during one of these many sleepovers, my grandfather and I devised a ritual that used Momma’s brush set as the crucial game pieces of our favorite activity. He would sit in a chair on the front porch while I carefully brushed and combed what little hair the man had left. I would fashion amazing follicular creations while brushing his hair every which way and adorning it with ribbons and clips. During this bonding time of ours, this slight-in-stature but oftentimes gruff man was putty in my hands. All thanks to that special brush set that my grandmother had purchased from her neighborhood Avon lady many years prior.
Not long after my grandmother passed away, my mom called me inquiring as to what items, if any, I would like to have as she and Dad were getting the house ready for sale. Without hesitation, I asked about the brush set. It was the only thing that I truly desired.
Almost fourteen years have gone by, and that set sits on my dresser. Although I don’t use the brush and comb (the comb is losing its teeth), I do use the mirror often. The powder box holds many of my bracelets.
Some people may see it as sentimental clutter. Some may not see the beauty of its old fashioned style.
When I look at those pieces, I don’t see just a brush set. I see my grandmother and grandfather as I love to remember them. I see and smell and hear their home. I’m back in that bedroom or on that front porch again. These four pieces of ruby red plastic are not just things gathering dust. They are part of who I am.