I ship boxes to good friends from time to time. Sometimes the good friend is family, sometimes not.
About 4 times a year I make up some "specialties". Since I have learned how to can Jam and Jelly, I found that I can make the stuff ahead of time and set it aside. That makes things much easier, and the next time I hear someone say "I don't like homemade Jam" will be the first.
You probably pull wings off butterflies and hate puppies and kittens too.
But it is a fair amount of effort to get the boxes together. In fact it's more grief once the items are selected than it is to ship the things.
Cooking for me is fairly therapeutic. Yeah, that's what they call it, Therapeutic. Calming. You get in a groove and can forget the grief of the day.
It's also a bother when you make so much that you have to store the stuff, so may as well share, right?
Just like most of you, I tend to make a lot of online orders. Here, however we have a hard and fast rule. Save the bubble wrap, I'm only going to need it later. Oh and don't pop it. That is strictly verboten. Go pop the Texas Air instead.
Living here in Small House South Florida, there are only so many places to stash things. Neat and tidy means a place for everything and everything in its place.
Not so fast, cowboy. Not so fast.
See, that conflicts with the need to shop in bulk that we had discovered. So instead of going to the supermarket and picking up the handy "big" 8 roll of toilet paper pack in the cheery plastic wrap with the teddy bear on it, we end up with the refrigerator sized 30 pack that lingers in the hallway for a week and a half until the paper towels stored on the same shelf percolate down to a level in the hall closet that I can fit in a few more.
The secret is to double stack things. If it is good enough for the Chessie System, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific on long haul railroads, I can certainly cram in another 13 rolls of TP in the strange thin shelf under the sink in the bathroom.
But stashing things is my own obsession. From time to time things go missing. Why you might ask? Because being a Logical Person, I put things in a Logical Place. Have a small nook that a box fits in? Great! Put the box in there, and stuff the two 16 packs of soap in there that you got a deal on at Amazon.com that one time until you need it! Does it matter that you have enough soap to wash yourself, your partner, the dog, and the Jeep until 2026? No but it was a great deal!
Have a headache? Oh great! A deal on "Doctor's Office Packs of Advil" will fit in the holes of the toilet paper rolls because they are round and there are teeny little gaps that need to be filled!
That even goes to special purpose things. I have a bottle of Vodka. It's lost. I have no idea where it is. I was going to use it to make Chocolate Vodka. Four parts Vodka to 1 part cocoa, stir daily, enjoy it 2 weeks later.
Really? Yes, and mix it with a drop of vermouth to make a choco-tini. You can't live in South Florida without trying one.
Shaken, Not Stirred.
But the vodka went missing about eight and a half months ago and I'm too damn stubborn to get more. Oh SURE I could try the recipe with Rum but it wouldn't be the same. Just because the Rum is clearly available doesn't mean I can't wait until I find the Vodka and I haven't had the stuff in weeks. Too many calories.
So looming in the house somewhere is a black hole. A Slider's Vortex that goes to a parallel dimension in another Earth. That Parallel Earth has a great selection of goods. A single crew sock that I lost in 1995 when I competed in that Inline Skating Marathon the day I did 55 miles in a morning skating the route from Philadelphia to Valley Forge and back and forth and ....
Yeah the sock is there. Probably still sweaty from the effort.
There's my car from when I was a kid. Beautiful grey Cadillac with the tail fins. I know I put that in a cabinet to hide if from my sister and my father. My sister would get it sticky with something she was eating and my father had a habit of "throwing away things" that would only end up at my cousin's house because "You Weren't Using It".
Yeah. You use things like that every day of the week.
But they're all protected. They are cushioned with bags of packing peanuts. The packing peanuts are wrapped in bubble wrap of all sorts. Pink Anti-Static bubble wrap. Bags from shipping. The ones I got in a shipment from Atlanta that had UPS stamped all over them.
And that roll. Giant roll of bubble wrap. Kevin took pity on me back about the time that the Vodka bottle went to that parallel Earth where Dinosaurs roam eating sweat-socks and old metal toy cars, but only the grey ones. The massive plastic roll of bubble wrap has slid there and bounced around and wrapped that bottle so it can be safe. I'm sure of it. I can hear the diminutive Heather from Poltergeist saying "They're Heere..." as they float around the room in a giddy vortex and then in a giant sucking noise are sucked into that world and gone to me forever.
I guess I'll have to make do. There's a manufacturer North of here. They cut custom foam rubber bits. That's what I'll do. I'll wait. They have bins of scrap that I could use! Wrap jars of home made Cherry, Key Lime, and Lemon jams and curds in sheets of foam rubber! That would save me from having to go to some office supply store and buy the crap like a normal person!
Yeah that's the ticket! But wait... it will just get sucked into that vortex won't it?
But that's not quite right. The other day? I found a cache of soap from 2011! That stuff was good. I'm just waiting though. The Vortex. Sometimes it's been good. You know those stories about the hoards of old Roman coins that are found sometimes in the English Midlands? Great piles of the things? They're there because they fell into the same vortex. Right next to the bubble wrap, the toy car, the bottle of vodka, and my blasted bubble wrap!