The cold in Ina’s world was gradually giving way to warmer temperatures, though the high today would still be in the mid-20s. Even so, warmer temperatures were anticipated and both Ina and Jack were relieved. The question now was: Would it snow?
It was time to start packing boxes for the mail. The gifts to Pearl’s family had the farthest to go and therefore must be the first to be mailed. In considering a nice gift for Pearl, Ina decided to send a “W. Mason” bag that she had on hand. Ina thought the bag was pretty and useful but she just didn’t use it – and you know, Ina just doesn’t keep things she doesn’t use. Besides, she knew Pearl would make good use of it. She also sent a pretty pincushion for Pearl and two linen hankies to her husband Al. For grandson Stan, now 14, she included a book from the shelf and a pencil sharpener. On a whim, she also put in the little ceramic toy dog for Pearl, a relic of old reservation days. The dog had survived a house burning and Pearl’s family would enjoy the story.
Ina never bought new wrapping paper. Instead, they carefully unwrapped their gifts so as to salvage the paper for re-use the next year. She also saved common green string which she thought was so pretty for tying gifts. Wrapping paper often made several exchanges before becoming so worn that it had to be discarded. This year she had the lovely new tags that Shirley had sent her from Idaho Falls.
When the gifts were wrapped, Ina found a box that was just right. Nothing was fragile, so she didn’t need to use a lot of packing, but she carefully tucked a recent issue of the Clearwater Tribune around the gifts in the box. She knew both Pearl and Al would enjoy reading it.
It was a morning’s work – a labor of love which she thoroughly enjoyed. Once the box was addressed and ready, Jack carried it to the mailbox with a dollar bill attached. Their rural route carrier would pick up the box and the next day leave their change.
[I honestly don’t know how they paid to mail packages, but I know Jack carried them to the mailbox for pick-up by their rural route carrier. Into the ‘50s – even the ‘60s – the rural route carrier was a life line for the country folk, carrying not only the mail but medications and groceries.
The first picture is of Al and Pearl Sanders and their son Stanley. The second is of Al and Stan taken on the porch at the Dobson farmhouse.] KW