I need to remind myself at times… I live a CHARMED life. Figuratively AND Literally!!
When I was 16, my mother gave me a sterling silver charm bracelet for Christmas. You could tell she put a lot of love and thought in this precious gift. Each charm represented a specific life event or story.
A roller skate to remind me of the time my brother used my only pair to make himself a skateboard, a mouse to represent my nickname ‘little mouse’ (don’t ask), a princess phone for all the times I was reminded phones were for dispatching information… NOT chatting! My favorite charm is the Lie Detector. That one must have been difficult to find. I don’t know if my mom happened upon it, or had to hunt for it… but that ONE charm is near and dear to my heart. It is the only one on that entire bracelet that represents a family memory involving my dad.
At the time our family was living in Shrewsbury, NJ in a sub-division named Vail Homes. My mom liked to call it ‘Vile Homes’. One fall, when I was about 4 years old, mom purchased a basket of apples and left them on the kitchen counter. In the morning she woke up to find 2 or 3 apples with tiny little bites out of them lying on the stairway. She called me downstairs and I was throughly reprimanded. Of course I said I didn’t do it. Trust me when I tell you talking back to my mom was NOT a smart move… even at 4 I knew that!! I was spanked for lying.
This continued the next night… and this time my father did the spanking. I can remember crying and saying I didn’t do it… but they didn’t believe me, and sent me to my room. My dad started thinking about the problem. It dawned on him I wasn’t known to lie, and thought perhaps I was sleep walking and didn’t realize I was doing it. So that night he grab a chair and got comfy, determined to catch me in the act. To his surprise he found out who the real culprit was.
Back in those days our house was heated with coal. A delivery man came to the house on a regular basis and dropped coal down a shoot from the outside of the house to the coal bin inside. Apparently a racoon got inside and was living in the coal bin. My dad watched in amazement as the little racoon crawled up onto the kitchen counter, grab an apple and scurried away. It would then go to the stairs, take a bite, drop it… and repeat the process.
Obviously my parents apologized profusely with hugs and kisses… and treated me to a special dessert.
Anyway… every once in a while as I traveled around, I would purchase another charm to be added to the bracelet. The chain is not that sturdy, and once it was filled, I still purchased charms, but never had them attached. The novelty wore off quickly.
While traveling through Alaska I came across this ADORABLE moose charm… so I bought it. Which then got me thinking about the bracelet. Knowing I have been to 49 of the 50 US States… I decided I should make a charm bracelet with 50 charms… 1 from each state!!!
Last night I dumped my bag of charms onto the bed and took inventory. Out of the 49 states I have been to, I collected 15 charms… plus a few from other countries. “OK… I can make this work.” I said to myself. So now I’m on the hunt!!! I’ve made a list of all the states and marked which ones I have already. Next to the ones I don’t have, I jotted down a suggestion of what kind of charm to look for. For example… my first view of Hawaii from the air were of sea turtles… so I want to get a sea turtle charm. It might take me YEARS to finish this project… but I am determined to complete it.
One aspect of collecting that I find interesting is the pricing. Some of my old charms still have a price tag showing $7.50. The current charms are sold for $20.00 each. I guess I should have never stopped collecting them years ago
Which state is the only one I haven’t been to yet??? Colorado! Technically my DNA is within it’s boundaries… but to be honest I haven’t experienced it enough to convincingly say I’ve been there. Many years ago I stood in Four Corners… so my right hand has been in the state, and on the way home from Alaska last week I had a 7 hour lay over in the Denver airport. Neither of these close encounters qualifies the purchase of a charm. I play fair… and I don’t lie!