The JarWhat is a medium-sized jar that once held rutabagas good for after said vegetables have been removed? Alice was just as unsure as you and I for a time, but a few days after Randy had left on his way to Vietnam, Alice was given some change from the grocers. Just some pennies and a couple of dimes. Instead of putting them back in her purse, she put them in her pocket. And when she got back to her trailer, she approached the jar glistening on the windowsill, twisted the lid off of it with a satisfying pop, and dropped the coins into it. Clang, clang, clang. Why, it was almost like music!
By Amber Stokes
By Amber Stokes
A new note, a new drop of copper or silver, was added to the jar each week. Sometimes it was change from the grocers. Sometimes it was a penny she had found on the sidewalk in front of Gottschalks. Once it was a quarter she found in her couch.
By 1975, the jar was as full as it could be and Alice was 87 years old. And then one Sunday, she heard Randy’s parents tell the congregation that he would be home soon. He might even be in church the following Sunday!
So Alice went home and searched all about her trailer for what she was certain must still be there somewhere. Back too many years ago to count, she wore a yellow ribbon. I never did learn the details, but I’ve heard that she might have used it in her hair on her first date with the man she married. Whatever its original use, that yellow ribbon now had a new purpose, just like the jar, if only she could… Aha! She found it in the top drawer of her nightstand, tucked inside a book of Robert Frost poetry.
As you might have already guessed, she replaced the lid on the penny jar and tied the yellow ribbon beneath the lid. When she saw him next Sunday, she wanted him to know that she had been thinking of him all those days and weeks and months and years – those moments – when he had been in Vietnam.
To Be Continued...