Sentimental Souvenirs

December 20, 2010

 See that little tub of peach lip balm in the first photo? My dad gave that to me during our last Christmas together. He had a tradition of spending Christmas Eve afternoon sipping tea, eating Gateaux Nana, and shopping for all of us at one of our favorite little shops in the whole world: The Kitchen Shop in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. I always looked forward to the ecclectic little gifts that he would put under the tree for us. I keep trying to remember what else came with this tub of lip gloss that year, but I can't. And actually, I never really used the lip gloss until after he died. I loved the little Art Deco tin and kept saving it. I am like that. I save things. And somehow that little tub of balm re-emerged one day and I put it on my bedside table. It's been there for the past two years and I use it on a daily basis. It reminds me of my dad, it's pretty, it smells good, and guess what?...it really is good stuff. 

So when we started planning our trip to Spain, I wondered if I might be able to find the lip gloss in Madrid. That's where the tin says they are made. I am not a big souvenir person, but as soon as we landed in Madrid I began the search to find these little colorful treasures. It became an obsessive hunt of stopping in every pharmacy, every perfumeria that we passed. I found a few in one shop and bought those to send my sisters and my mom. And then on our last day in Madrid, we hit the jackpot in a small pharmacy near the train station. I didn't realize there were so many scents and designs. I bought one of each. Feelings of success and bittersweet joy flooded over me as the hunt came to an end and the connections between Spain, Louisiana, my dad, and one last Christmas suddenly merged into a small plastic bag full of sweet glosses...strawberry, violet, orange, currant, vanilla, and peach. Sometimes souvenirs can be very good things.
Stacy said...

I clicked on the link to Grand Coteau -- looks beautiful, and perfect for a stop-over on our planned road trip along the Gulf Coast this summer from Florida to Texas. Thanks!

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Stacy, Grand Coteau will always have a special place in my heart...I went to school there and the Kitchen Shop is truly one a wonderful place. I have some other suggestions for you on that drive this summer since I have made similar drives over the years. Hope you and your family have a happy holiday season. Glad to see you again...I had lost the link to your blog and would love to continue following your adventures.

katy said...

What a beautiful memory. So nice to have something tangible to remind you of it (and him.)

Mom said...

Beautiful Post.....and those little tins are so lovely.

Nancy said...

So moving--and what beautiful little tins those are. Your persistence really paid off.

Juniper said...

This is the trouble with your blog, I always end up with so much I want to say after I read a post that I end up feeling tongue tied and without enough time to put thoughts to words properly. They are such treats, this no exception. I love the lip balm containers. Violet lip gloss what a cool find! Your father sounds like a man with very good taste. Your post made me all teary. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Kellie said...

I just love that you found these. I save things like this, too. Objects are very powerful for me when it comes to helping me feel and maintain connections.

Corinne said...

Fantastic post. Not only am I also a saver and a huge fan of lip gloss, I love that it has found a special place in you in connection with your dad. What a THOUGHTFUL thing for him to do and how wonderful that you recognize it. I love it.

Mommzy said...

loving your blog, so glad I happened upon it!

sonja said...

Lovely story!

Arrows Sent Forth said...

I'm so glad you found them. Such a special moment, thanks for sharing with us.

Cami said...

They look SO quaint and cool--a perfect souvenir for a sentimental search. Glad it was a success.

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