Grab Bag


As I ponder over all of the G word options I have for today’s blog, one thing comes to mind. A grab-bag. When I was a little girl, my grandmother would bring me … — I don’t know why I say my grandmother would bring me. She didn’t bring me anywhere. She never had a driver’s license and never drove a car. It was my grandfather who would bring us. He would sit in the car and read the paper while smoking a cigar while we did whatever my grandmother had planned for us to do. — We would go to this little store, I don’t remember what kind of store it was, perhaps and antique shop, or an indoor flea market? It was in the town of Mechanic Falls I believe. I remember there was a bridge and a river flowed furiously underneath. I still can picture it in my mind. We always went during the spring or summer months, never in the winter time. There were always leaves on the trees, be it green or multi-colored fall leaves.

The front door was a heavy wooden structure with a big window. Bells hung from the top and jangled when we walked inside. My grandmother held my hand tightly if I remember correctly. She would say over and over again, “Don’t touch anything, don’t touch anything.” There were a lot of things to touch. It reminded me of walking through a gigantic China closet. There were shelves upon shelves of gewgaws and knickknacks and trinkets and other fine ornaments. I remember thinking I was happy to not have to dust those shelves.To this day I still hate to dust.

I’m not sure what, if anything, my grandmother ever bought for herself, or if she was even looking for something in particular. But I do remember at the end of each visit, before leaving, I always got to choose a grab-bag. There was a huge basket, as big as me, at the end of the counter where the cash register stayed. It was filled with an assortment of brown paper bags. Some were labelled ‘BOY’, some were labelled ‘GIRL’, and some were not labelled at all. They were a quarter a piece, or three for fifty cents. Most times I could choose one from the basket, but on rare occasions there were times I was able to choose three. I don’t remember any of the surprises that came in the bags. That’s not important now that I look back on the experience. It was the excitement and anticipation of walking through the whole store, not touching anything, and then having the opportunity to choose a grab-bag from the basket. It was the expectation of what might be inside. It was exhilarating.

Life is like a grab-bag. You never know what you are going to get, but the anticipation of the day should excite you. Every day we get to choose a brown paper sack. We have the occasion to choose how we will act or react. The opportunity may be small or large. It’s up to us to pay attention, grab that bag and use it to its fullest potential.


Be sure to check out the list and read some of the other great G-blog posts.


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