Sunday, October 2, 2011

Brown paper packages tied up with string...

While driving in my car this morning I was thinking about mailing a package.  As my mind wandered during this relaxing drive on a cool Autumn morning I recalled sitting at the dining room table when I was six or seven watching my father meticulously wrap a package for mailing.  We lived in Bermuda and there were always little knickknacks and memorabilia to send back to Grandma and others.  I watched as he wrapped the ugly re-used cardboard boxes with plain brown paper.  He added the appropriate labels and stickers with the red, white and blue striped borders for airmail.  Then he took a ball of white string and wrapped up the box this way and that, tying the knots real tight – I provided the finger to hold the string in place.  Sometimes he did more than two crisscrosses of string.  Sometimes there were two or three rows each way in a precise grid pattern.  Always, the strings were knotted really really tight and clipped off real close to the knots, creating little tufts of cotton at each intersection.  Well, this was the way we did it in the early sixties.  I guess we didn’t have packing tape then.  I’m not sure why the string was used but it certainly was useful in carrying the package and if you planned it out you could end up with a very workable handle in the center, which of course you could reinforce with two or three thicknesses of string.  So, instead of rushing that re-used, taped up, marked-over nasty little box to the post office tomorrow I’m going to wrap it nicely, with perfect corner folds at the ends, tie it up with string and use a pretty label.

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