As we all know, earlier this month my mom had her entire life packed up and moved from Southern California to the East Bay. She hired a professional moving company to pack and haul everything. I warned her that they would pack every darn thing in the house and she should do some house cleaning and donating before they showed up. Unfortunately she wasn't feeling well and so we've been finding lovely little surprises with every box we unpack.
There are a bazillion full boxes of all sizes in her new house. Lots of boxes have been emptied and their contents either put away or left on counters, tables and floors. When I unpacked the boxes labeled for the kitchen I realized that nothing was left behind. Bottles containing one drop, canned goods that expired years ago, used toothpicks; everything carefully wrapped in layers of paper and placed carefully in the boxes. Labeling hasn't been too good; food in boxes marked "glass" and silver in boxes marked "paper." But the best box got opened tonight.
After work tonight I dropped by to open a couple of boxes and then take my mom out for sushi. There were still a couple of boxes marked "plates" or "kitchen glass" so we unpacked those and found carefully wrapped bottles of hot sauce, baggies of peanuts, antique mugs, pens and pencils in layers of wrapping paper, a coffee maker, bone china, can goods and other non-glass or non-plate items that didn't belong in a kitchen.
My mom really wanted one last small box opened. It was marked "lamp shade" and she thought it was probably an antique hurricane lamp from her living room. While she was on a phone call I carefully sliced through the sealing tape. I lifted off and carefully checked the several pieces of wrapping paper scrunched on top of the lamp shade. Piece by piece I slowly I worked my way down to the shade. Finally I removed the very last piece of paper and found ...
... a very sad, wilted house plant. No lamp shade at all.