Category Archives: sentimental

31 Day Blog Prompt Challenge Day 9

Day 9: Your most treasured item.

I never really got to know my paternal grandparents. They lived in Puerto Rico, and neither they nor my parents had enough money to make frequent visits a possibility; travel from Houston to P.R. wasn’t cheap. One of the very few memories I have of them involved my parents and their friends getting the bright idea to pick bananas right out of the trees in (I believe) El Yunque National Forest on one of our visits to P.R. You know what I remember about that particular excursion? Sitting in the car after with my abuelo when cockroaches started pouring out of the trunk into the backseat with us. Turns out there were roaches living in those banana bunches. It’s a wonder I don’t flat-out faint at the sight of cockroaches to this day. Or bananas.

My better memory is of my abuela cooking for us (an abuela will never let you go hungry) and swinging in a hammock with my abuelo. That’s it. That’s all I can remember about them on my own. My last visit with both of them was when I was 3 or 4 years old. I saw my abuela again when my dad and I flew to Puerto Rico for Abuelo’s funeral when I was 11 1/2 years old. And on that visit, Abuela Maria gave me a religious medal that she and my abuelo had purchased for me years before. I wore that necklace every day from then on, only taking it off when I visited a beach, pool, or amusement park. I tucked it into my shirt if it didn’t match whatever other jewelry I was wearing (I prefer silver or white gold), slept with it on, and even wore it in the shower. Which is why, one day about 10 years ago, it was sheer luck that I happened to look at the floor of my shower just in time to spot the medal floating toward the drain. In a blind panic, I stepped on it at the last second, preventing it from disappearing down the drain. My mom took it to a jewelry store to repair the broken loop that led to the medal falling off. I stopped wearing it every day.

It now pretty much lives in my jewelry box, but every now and then I pull it out to look at it. It’s literally the only tangible gift I have from my abuela and abuelo, and I feel safer knowing where it is at all times than I do risking wearing it and maybe losing it.  But after tonight, I might just start wearing it while I sleep so I can feel like I have my grandparents with me again.

Front view

Back view


Filed under blogging, grandparents, sentimental

Something for Coraline: The Holly Hobbie Tea Set

My Abuela Tulita spoiled me rotten when I was a kid. Up to the day she died, the day after my 11th birthday, she readily showed me how much she loved me with her actions and words, and with anything my young heart may not have even known it desired. Like that subscription to Seventeen magazine she got me when I was 9 years old. Rich teases me about how many things she gave me that I still have. Her comb brushes my hair everyday, those ancient Avon kittens-in-mittens soaps hold a place of honor in my bureau drawer, I see my reflection in her purple-framed handheld mirror. It’s because of all these things she gave me that I was thrilled to find out I was having a baby girl — now I have someone special to pass alot of these things onto someday. Like this Holly Hobbie* tea set**. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. I used to love drinking out of its tiny teacups and eating snacks off its tiny plates. I can’t wait to see Coraline playing with it the way I used to.

*I’m painfully aware of how different today’s Holly Hobbie looks from the one I grew up with. Don’t get me started on Strawberry Shortcake‘s makeover.

**Anyone out there know anything about this particular tea set? All I have are “Made in Taiwan” stamps on the bottom of each piece and an item number stamped on the box lid: 870813.

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Filed under collectible, personal, sentimental