Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The swapping jar

Here's one of the nice things about living in a world where we have plenty: if I spill something on the shirt that I'm wearing, I can take it off and put a clean shirt on right away, while the dirty shirt wends its way through the laundry pile.

I remember reading a story when I was a child about a girl who burst into tears when her dress got splashed by a passing car, because she didn't have another dry dress to wear.  I had a student who visited her family in Zimbabwe over break, and while she was traveling her suitcase with all her clothes was stolen -- and by that, she really meant ALL her clothes (except the ones on her body).

I think about these stories and I remember to be grateful once again for all the clothes I own.  Having enough of a wardrobe that I can swap out the dirty for the clean at a moment's notice:  that's a blessing.  I try not to take this blessing for granted.

And since Tuesday is my canning jar fetish day (has anybody noticed this?  probably nobody but me) I just wanted to point out that this Swap-ability blessing extends beyond clothes. 

To wit, one of the small canning-jar-fetish-things I'm so grateful for is that I can (and do) exchange clean jars for dirty jars at a moment's notice.  And for this reason, I use canning jars for things like our butter dish, and also for corralling our kitchen scrubbers . . . 

. . . and (as I mentioned last week) for messy foodstuffs like oil.  If the jar gets disgusting, then I just use a new jar!

There are other containers that I interchange, beyond canning jars and clothes (are clothes "containers"?).  I've remained a huge fan of printer-boxes-with-one-edge-trimmed, even though they're not perfectly beautiful, because they are at least instantly replace-able in my son's high-energy bedroom
and also, they really help me keep my supplies (like my light bulbs + the receipts for the lightbulbs) organized.

So the canning jar part of this post is just a symbol of the grander aspect, the aspect that signals bounty and ampleness, of having enough and then some.  I have enough clothes, enough jars, enough boxes, that I can just grab clean ones when I need them.

Life is good.


  1. Space is nice too -- you have enough space to keep a box just for lightbulbs. We live in a dorm apartment and are generally grateful for our place, but we don't have much space for that level of organization.

    1. Space!!! Definitely that's a humongous luxury that we have (and one that, frankly, we have too much of). But dorm rooms are a different extreme entirely. - MM