We were in that charming little shop they make you walk through before and after they feed you at Cracker Barrel. Jake had picked out a lizard that grows when you put it in water, and I had suggested the giant swirly lollipops that are actually really disgusting yet impossible to resist because they seem like all the good things of childhood painted onto a stick. And then I saw the box of vintage soda bottles that made me think of my bare feet in the summer, toughened by gravel, covered with dirt, and sticky from the orange soda someone spilled on the porch where I lived and breathed and had my being from the moment I woke up until way after the little moons came out.
When I saw it I thought about all the noble zenning I continue to do, or to dream about at least. The less-stuff / more-peace kind of zen that I’ve been pursuing since – oh – right about the last time they said Cancer. And I thought, That’s the kind of stuff I’ll buy when my house is free of junk and clutter and things we do not need. I’ll buy things on purpose. Things that function (every boy needs soda in summer right?) AND are beautiful (the grape soda is especially lovely as well as the Dad’s Root Beer). And then I decided, Why can’t I start right now? It’s the perfect summer vacation purchase, and I’m going to do it. I DID zen a few things last week after all with plans for more to come. (DONE. You can see everything in the bathroom cabinet now – neatly stacked and ready for actual use).
The coolest part, though, is that the boys actually responded like I hadn’t even dared to hope in my wildest imagination. They are boys, after all, with zero sense of nostalgia for orange soda or Dad’s Root Beer or even drinking from a bottle with which the lid requires skill. But they totally savored those twelve beautiful sodas. “Can I have a vintage soda?” they would say. “And we should save the lids!” They said this just as if they were remembering from another decade when soda caps could be redeemed for treasure, used for street games, or glued to afternoon crafts.
It was glorious, I tell ya. And totally worth all one thousand six hundred pennies and counting.