What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Christopher Shane's Grandma

I shared a bit of this story on Instagram last week, but thought I would tell the whole story here.

The day that The Bean was born, my Mom went down to the hospital gift shop to buy him a little present.  As she was paying, she told the lady at the counter that she had just had her first grandchild.  "Oh, that's such a wonderful thing!" the lady replied.  My Mom told her it was a boy and that his name was Christopher.  "I have a grandson named Christopher too!' the lady said.  "Well" my mom said, "Ours is Christopher Shane."  The lady said, "Mine is Christopher Shane too!"  They talked for a while and then my Mom came upstairs and told me this story.  At some point before I went home (I was there a week) she came up to the room to meet me.  I had never met her before and never seen her before.

Flash forward a few weeks and I see her at the local grocery store.  Then at the pizza restaurant.  Then at Wal-Mart.  She introduces me to her daughter that works at Wal-Mart and we form a friendship based on the name Christopher Shane.  Every single time I see her, the first words out of her mouth are, "How's Christopher Shane?" then, "How is your Mom?" I have seen her every few months for the past almost 22 years! Every time we discuss our Christopher Shane's.  A couple of years ago I stopped at a garage sale and it was at her house - she was moving in with her daughter.  She must have been in her late 80's, but she still drove everywhere and still volunteered at the same hospital where we first met.  She just wanted to live with her daughter so they could "have fun together." Last year at the city fireworks show, who pulls up beside us to watch?  You guessed it, Christopher Shane's grandma.

About a month ago, I stopped at an estate sale.  I was poking through the garage and when I went into the house - there she sat!  She popped up and said, "Did you know this was my house?"  No, I didn't know that.  In fact, I had driven past and then I felt compelled to stop, so I went back.  She told me that her daughter had died.  I was crushed.  I knew her at Wal-Mart, but I never saw her with so much regularity that I had realized she was gone.  She had died before Christmas, and I was just finding out in June.  I felt just awful.  Her daughter loved holiday things, so I bought a few things for the memory of her.  We visited and she kept patting me on my arm.  She's such a sweet lady.  I am ashamed to tell you that I only recently had found out her actual name.  After all these years!  She was just always Christopher Shane's Grandma.  Her name is Phyllis. :)