Someone who is more on the cusp of fashion trends than myself informed me that gold is back in the accessory rotation. So this morning I repurposed a few jewelry pieces from my previous life, bracelets I hardly wore then and a necklace that made its virgin appearance.
I only chose it because I recently purchased a silver owl necklace, so I know it’s hip with the youngsters now.
Beyond its trendiness potential, I felt it was appropriate for today’s voyages. The necklace bears little market value, but reminds me of the worth of great character. My grandmother Mary put it in a Christmas stocking at some point prior to 1997 (seriously, it’s vintage) and I’m positive I rolled my teenage eyes at its lack of cool factor. It’s an owl. The sentimental chump that I am kept it because my grandma gave it to me.
Grandma Mary was always bestowing chintzy jewelry on us gals and probably anyone who gave her reason. She kept an entire drawer full of the stuff. It was Avon. So, yes, the neighboring drawer housed random perfumes, lip colors and whatever else she probably dumped on my mother and aunts.
I don’t believe Grandma Mary really loved Avon. She didn’t even wear Skin So Soft, except to fight the bugs. She was a tried-and-true Exclamation(!) fan.
She bought and bought the stuff because in her later years, her Avon Lady became her biggest ally. While the family was only about 30 minutes away, she lived mostly solo after my grandfather died and my grandma did not drive (like, ever. She didn’t have a license. “Except to church” she once said. “If a cop is going to pull me over going to church, then so be it.”)
So frequently the Avon Lady would make a call, grandma would buy a future present and then they’d go get groceries. Or medication. Or eat at Aunt Millie’s. Whatever Grandma needed to get to doing, the Avon Lady would help her do.
One time, the Avon Lady had to pick her up out of a snow drift. It was quite a winter but Grandma needed groceries. After arriving home, Grandma got a little to close to the snow drift and tumbled over. The poor thing ended up with a black eye but she told the story like a warrior.
Now that I’m older I have a much deeper appreciation for what the Avon Lady did for our family. She cared for a widow in ways that meant so much. She kept her safe, she kept her company. Grandma, the hairdresser she was, probably craved company and conversation more than anything else, especially on days she didn’t have her Bridge Club.
What a brave, honorable, generous thing to do, to give of your time every week to make sure a wonderful old lady could get her groceries and have a little lunch. Granted, who wouldn’t love to hang out with Grandma Mary each week? But people value their time. Giving it to someone else is probably one of the greatest gifts we can offer.