Back on Land

He deploys, and I make a life back on land.

That Brown Bag

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This post is something I wrote a while back on another blog. I’m doing a little housekeeping, deleting some old things I don’t like and PCS’ing (lol) some things that I do like. If you’ve read this before, I hope you enjoy it again. If not, it’s new to you! 🙂

A few times times a year, I make a long shopping list on a brown paper bag. It isn’t for Christmas or a birthday. There are no fun toys and high fashion jeans on it, but it’s important just the same.

  • 2 bottles of shampoo
  • 3 small boxes of q-tips
  • 4 deodorants
  • 3 cans of shaving cream and 3 boxes of razors

I don’t buy it all at once. I try to watch for good sales and better coupons. That brown bag sits in my bedroom slowly filling up.

  • Lotion
  • 2 extra toothbrushes
  • 3 tubes of toothpaste
  • 2 or 3 small bottles of Listerine

What you don’t shop like this? All your bathroom needs for three months at a time?

  • Foot powder
  • Nail clippers
  • Large bag of Laundry detergent tablets

I write my list on that brown bag with a big black sharpie marker. I double-check and triple-check the list every time I make it. I can’t forget one item. We talk about the list and make it together. I check items off as they go in the bag. Double check.

  • 3 shower scrubs
  • A pair of shower shoes (size 10.5)
  • 5 bottles of bodywash

In a different bag, I gather other things.

  • Snacks
  • Hard candy
  • Granola bars

I gather all these items so I can send my husband away. Send him out to sea for months at a time. Give him back to the submarine and the Navy that he serves so proudly.

That brown bag … I make my list while he is home with us, while I can take care of him, he can take care of us, all together. That brown bag … it means he is home … for now. Because that brown bag is a sign that he will leave again … when the brown bag leaves it takes him with it.

There is no brown bag while he is gone. There are smaller bags. Ziploc bags. A taste of home. I fill them with letters and photographs and sunshine. That brown bag takes care of the basics; the Ziplocs I send away are filled with love.

That brown bag … it’s filled with love, too. It’s filled with me taking care of him when I can’t be there to care of him. It’s my to have and to hold; for better or worse. In my house it’s all in that brown bag.

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