Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Memories – Calvin’s Toothpicks


Along about my 4th grade year, cinnamon toothpicks were a big fad. The sixth grade boys especially liked them. If your mom wasn’t going to the store soon, you could make your own by sticking plain wooden toothpicks into little vials of cinnamon oil and letting them soak over night. Lots of us did that and then promptly burned our eyes by accidently rubbing them after touching the fresh toothpicks.

My childhood best friend, Nita, said the doctors had to operate and take a ball of wood the size of a golf-ball out of her dad’s stomach because he used to chew on toothpicks all the time. Nita said she never saw the ball, but that it was true. I didn’t doubt it. Nita said that’s why her dad said we shouldn’t chew on toothpicks but should just suck the cinnamon from them instead.

When we got married I told Calvin about Nita's dad, because he liked chewing on wooden toothpicks too. One day Calvin discovered plastic toothpicks and he began chewing on them instead.  You may notice that a lot of the pictures of toothpicks that I post on the blog have Calvin on the other end. 
    

    





Calvin always tucks his toothpicks in his pocket for later, but they come out somewhere in the wash instead.

For several years I subscribed to a food magazine and each issue had a drawing of a wooden toothpick hidden somewhere in the magazine. They called it searching for Ted’s Toothpick. Abe always looked for it and often found it, but we never claimed the prize. A week ago while I was at work something kept poking me. I knew what it was without looking; it was one of Calvin’s toothpicks. I went into the bathroom stall, lifted up my dress, turned it inside out and started feeling the seams, searching for Calvin’s toothpick. I thought, “This is just like searching for Ted’s Toothpick, except there is no prize and I don’t have Abe’s help.” Toothpick #87 was in the blue and black floral dress, right side seam, waist high.

A day or two later Calvin was sitting on the bed while I was pulling out toothpick #93 from a pair of socks. He watched me carefully unweave it from the fabric and said, “Someday you’re going to miss finding my toothpicks everywhere.”

I said, “I promise you I won’t. I will miss a lot of things someday, but I will not miss finding toothpicks in the washcloths, in the socks, especially in my whites, in my dresses, in my coats, or in my shirts. That is one thing I can promise you I will not miss.”

He laughed and said, “Oh yes you will!”

Last week Calvin left to go hunting. Guess what I found in the carpet right after he left? Yes. Toothpick #106. I picked it up and set it on my dresser with every intention to throw it away. Five days later there it still sits next to the love note he left on my pillow.

He told me so.

18 comments:

Carolyn said...

That was adorable. I love how much you and Calvin love each other. What a great example you are.

Heather Williams said...

Jane, that was so great! Loved that story so much! My dad is the ExACT same way! I think it is an art at how well they can choose those puppies down and yes, even I have found those in all sorts of places.

Heather Williams said...

"chew" i meant:)

Jill said...

This was all kinds of sweet!

Deanna/Mimi said...

Great story. I laughed as I saw see each of him had a toothpick in the exact same place of his mouth. And what was really funny was you finding them in your clothes!!! What a fun marriage you have. He is so thoughtful to leave you a love note. You ought to take the toothpick, the note and a paper heart and put them in a shadow box with one of the pictures of Calvin. You are indeed a special woman to have such a special man and vice-versa.

Alisa said...

As soon as you said Calvin's toothpicks, I had a very clear image of him with one his mouth. Never met the man, but have seen many a photo with a toothpick in his mouth.
Such a fun memory to have preserved.

Michelle said...

I love this. That's all I've got to say. Thanks for being such a great couple example for us.

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

Love it!

There are a few things that I don't think I would miss! I won't mention them here!! Hahaha.

Barb said...

I don't know if I'll ever get sentimental over Ken's dry cleaning tabs (he takes his shirts downtown and has them done). This post has maybe opened me up to the possibility of something other than annoyance.

Brenda Goodrich said...

Toothpicks, seed peas, and gravel. It's always an adventure to open the dryer:)

Sylvia said...

This is truly a great love story. never once in it did I hear that you got after him through the years. Thank you for sharing it.

Puhlman said...

I'm going to have to agree with Calvin. You will miss it some day. My mom never thought she would miss picking up my dads socks from the ground. OH HOW she would give anything to pick them up again....over and over and over.

Loved your posts...as always.

Tami said...

I LOVE IT!!! That is so awesome!!!!

Donna Chapin said...

Jane - I loved your post as always, and thanks for helping me remember the days of the cinnamon toothpick fad. Yes,we had that fad about the same time too.

Becky said...

A new favorite post--loved it! :)

Lucy said...

Lovely post. I tell Jay that he'll miss my almost empty soda cans that I never finish or the way I interrupt his stories with a question that always seem to annoy him. He says he won't but I know he will. It's our nuances that make us...us:)

tina said...

Awe . . . :)

Ande Payne said...

Haha I never realized how many pictures there are with Dad's toothpick. this was such a cute post Mom.