When I was a kid we lived a distance from a town of any size. Most of our household provisions where purchased on the once-a-week visit to Pokomoke City, MD. We went on Saturday mornings because my sister and I took piano lessons with Mrs. Stevens. While my sister took her lesson I often wandered up to the Newberry's Department Store to check out stuff-of-interest. Afterwards we stopped at the A&P Supermarket on the edge of town to stock up on food and laundry detergent. The Eight O'clock coffee was ground right at the checkout and the air smelled great, but we only bought it when my grandfather came to visit.
Several times a year we took The Big Trip and went to The Mall and Other Big Stores in Salisbury, MD. As a kid I thought Salisbury was quite the metropolis until I heard of the mecca called Wilmington, DE which existed several hours north. I knew they had footballs teams and more in places like Baltimore and Washington, DC, but those places were in aonther universe that I had not yet seen.
One of those trips each year was the "Back To School" marathon when we purchased clothing and supplies for the new school year. They had a Real Sears Store instead of the Sears Catalog Store that was in Pocomoke. Between the two Sears my mom dressed me with selections from the "Boys Husky Department".
But the Apex of the Back-To-School trip was the Selection of The Lunch Box. We had a modest upbringing, but a new school year did involve a new lunch box. If there ever was a boy's second or third grade fashion statement it was the toting of a most awesome lunch box. Old lunch boxes were recycled to Hold Important Kid Stuff in the bedroom and that new vessel was hiked into the new school year.
I was a Hot Wheels, Evel Knievel, and Super Friends kind of boy. One year I went with a Gunsmoke pail because Matt Dillion played by James Arness was it. IT. Every Monday night we got dose of U.S. Marshall Dillon and Festus taking care of business and protecting the town where Miss Kitty ran the salon and Doc patched you up. Hey, even John Wayne was a fan of James Arness. Who needs The Smurfs?
Several weeks later school started and we packed off with 100 sheet wide rule black marble composition books, No. 2 pencils, and lunchboxes. Trapper Keepers would come a few years later. Most days I did not look inside the box until lunch period.
My lunchbox usually contained these basic staples: A bologna sandwich with American cheese & mustard or if I was lucky - a can of Vienna Sausage. Man did I love those Vienna Sausage! There was fruit or pudding cup along with a pack of crackers, bag of chips, or sweet snack courtesy of Little Debbie or one of her friends at Hostess. My Thermos usually had Tang, or Kool-Aid, or in the winter it might contain hot soup. So a epic day would be Vienna Sausage - Del Monte Fruit Cocktail - Ho Hos - and lime Kool-Aid. That was living large. And I'll add that these foods, my friends, represent the real basic four food groups.
By middle school we all became too cool for lunchboxes and convinced our parents that school lunch was the way to go. Years later I purchased a Fat Albert lunchbox at a local auction and I carried my grandfathers scuffed-up gray painted metal lunchbox to work for several years. It was usually packed dinner leftovers and fruit. I've not eaten a Vienna Sausage in a long time.
These days I don't think about my school lunch box very often, but when I do it serves as a bit of a metaphor. Whatever ever my mom managed to pack inside may have or may not have been my favorite, but it was something that took care of what I needed to get me through the day. That is a bit how trust works with God. It seems we so often get hung up on what we want, but if we can take a moment to think about it don't we get what we need? And if we stop worrying about what is there we find all that we need has already been done. So simple, but it can free us for other, perhaps bigger things.
That is it for today. Go in peace, Super Friend.