Thanksgiving weekend, not quite a month ago, my mother came for the holiday and brought with her surprise housewarming gift.I knew that my sister or I would inherit this legendary household item eventually but it was an unexpected joy to receive it now when we’re just starting our home.
When my parents were dating and first married and my dad was going to graduate school, they had an amazing group of friends. These were the kind of companions to which the word “friend” does not do justice. My sister grew up in all their houses. We called them all aunt and uncle. In my childhood we’d moved away to North Carolina. I didn’t grow up around this extended family except for long and joyful visits but they were in every story. My father was always laughing in the kitchen, talking on the phone to one of them.
The first year that I couldn’t come home for the holidays, my father explained to me that there comes a point in everyone’s life that you develop your second family. These are the people you choose to love and spend your time with. This is how you surround yourself with love no matter where you are. I knew without explanation who his second family was.
This old, once ordinary, jar was a gift from Dad’s extended family and was a staple in our house. Boz’s Big “O”s is a play off George’s Big “O”s, an 18 oz beer glass (a schooner for you hip, young folk) at a classic Waco restaurant where Dad & co attended graduate school. It spent the first many years of its life filled with peanut m&ms, something my father literally could not go a day without until his growing belly convinced him to try to put the jar away. It sat in the pantry revered and full of stories, but unused for many years until my father sold his house and “gifted” his treasures to my mother’s attic.
Today Boz’s Big “O”s is filled with Reese’s rather than peanut m&ms. I hope for it to always remain so…until my waistline causes me to have to find it a special spot in a closet.