Long ago, when I was in Portland, I packed up in a box
a bunch of stuff that wouldn't fit in my suitcase and sent it to myself, by surface mail. It finally arrived yesterday, almost exactly 6 weeks after I sent it, which was the upper limit of the time they said it'd take, so it was just in time. I was actually doubly happy to find the slip in the mailbox telling me to get the box at the post office because the day before I sort of predicted it would arrive. I had received a magazine that I subscribe to from the US which has not arrived on a couple of occasions, leading to long discussions with the publishers requesting them to send me the missing copies. I was so relieved the new issue came and I wouldn't have to be writing to them again
. Then, knowing my box might come any day now, I was thinking "I'm having good luck. My box is coming tomorrow. I can feel it." And it did. Go me.
So, in the time since I sent it, I did forget a few of the things I'd packed in the box. It had more food items than I remembered. But I was so happy carrying it home, and a bit sad in a nostalgic kind of way, remembering the day I mailed it, how it was absolutely pouring when we left for the post office, and I looked at the box for signs of dried-up raindrops. I looked at the postmark from Oregon City and wished I could go back to the moment when it was put there, to be back in Oregon again. And it was weird to open it and take out what was inside, like it was mostly just stuff I bought, nothing really important, but it was quite different not seeing it all again until weeks after putting it all together in the US. It was like getting a little time-delayed care package from myself.
In case you are wondering what was in it...:
- A pair of retro-y Converse sneakers that I ordered before going to the US so that they'd be waiting at my parents' house when we got to Oregon.
- Two belts I bought at the mall that are the type of cloth belts I remember having as a kid. They're popular again.
- Two bags of baking mix and some granola from Bob's Red Mill
, a place in a suburb of Portland that grinds flours the old-fashioned way, with big millstones. They sell every type of flour and grain imaginable, not to mention cereals, beans, rice, spices, etc etc, all very wholesome and natural food. I couldn't resist buying a couple of bags of stuff, though wandering around their store it was so hard to choose only a couple of things to take back. In the end I got a 10 grain pancake and waffle mix
, a spice apple muffin mix
, and apple cinnamon granola
. I already have some blueberries in the freezer waiting to be added to the pancake mix... Also, when I filled out the customs form, listing what was in the box (not that I listed everything), I put "flour" at the top of the list and had been worrying all these weeks that it would catch the eye of the customs officers in the Netherlands and they'd open the box to check it out, opening it at the end where the flour was and shredding open the bags and I'd never get to have yummy pancakes or muffins. As it was, I had no reason to worry; the box was unopened.
- More food stuff: baking powder, vanilla extract, a box of graham crackers, Country Time pink lemonade mix, and packets of mix for Oregon Chai tea.
- New measuring cups because the ones I had were annoying with sharp metal handles.
- An old book that I obsessed over when I was in middle school, The Season of Passage
by Christopher Pike, who mostly wrote horror books for young teens. I thought I'd like to read it again sometime, though it'll probably be a painful, embarrassing experience, but maybe I'll actually still like it.
- Some simple barrettes that are nonetheless impossible to find here.
- Some simple hoop earrings that are a type that are nonetheless impossible to find here. They're nothing special, and were completely easy to find in the US, but it seems most hoop earrings here are big enough to double as bracelets.
- Two cute little buttons
I got at Music Millennium that have animal characters on the button, along with a little card that has the character's name and stats. I got Sebastian Scorpion (who is a Virgo, not a Scorpio; loves blocks of cheese, Woody Allen and collects skeleton keys) and Jacob Meerkat (loves chicken noodle soup, Luke Wilson, and The Shins, and does counted cross stitch as a hobby).
- A Simpsons magnet, also from Music Millennium, that has the family a la Dali, with Homer's head melted over a beer bottle and a clock instead of eyes, Bart as a deflated balloon hanging in a tree, etc.