A few days ago found Jim and me perusing the garden section of large hardware store. As often on such outings we tend to wander apart, each going in search of items of our own particular interest. I was there for potting soil, soil needed for the deck pots this year. Before going to the outside pen were the soils, mulches and plants are caged I first thought of inspecting the selection of small gardening hand tools. As I walked down the aisle contemplating each tool and its use I suddenly spied them. In the shadowy depths of the shelving, non-descript merchandizing, they hung, waiting. And as my gaze fell upon them, a memory, and old memory of decades past flooded on me. Why would a simple pair of leather gardening gloves sweep me away on a torrent of almost forgotten memories from my childhood.
It is said that anything can be a memory trigger and in this case it was a pair of gardening gloves, actually and more exactly, pruning gauntlets. But in those first seconds I saw a pair of white, elbow length, evening gloves. Evening gloves a now vividly recall my Grandmother dawning as her and my Grandfather departed for one of the famous “Events”. And the time I speak was when the grand style maven Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy ( long before the Onassis was added) was watched and emulated by perhaps every woman in America. And while perhaps best known for her little “pill box” hats you never saw the First Lady in a formal gown without properly accessorized by elbow length white gloves, after 06:00pm of course!
With perhaps a slightly audible squeal I snagged a pair in my size and headed through the store to find Jim, who, when found was much less taken with my find than I. But then again, it’s my memories and not his.
And as I hack, chop and cut my way through the brambles wearing these leather gloves of work, I will remember my Grandmother’s stately elegance and grace, and her own elbow length white gloves.