Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with Strings…

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things
When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad
~From The Sound of Music

I’m guessing that most of our Exponent readers are too young to remember packages tied with string arriving in the mail (packing tape just isn’t nearly as exciting). When I was a kid, they were usually from Grandma–for birthdays of Christmas. Getting thingsbirds, in a Brooklyn tree in the mail isn’t any less magical now that it was then. I love seeing something lumpy or square-ish in our mailbox, and it’s even better when it’s addressed to me!

Recently I’ve had a few losses that have made me feel pretty blue.  Perhaps it’s also the effect of the days getting shorter and cooler, too.  I’ve had to really work at remembering what brings me joy.  Today it was a soft pair of socks, a purring kitten in my lap, and the perfect cheese melted golden brown on the shepherd’s pie that my spouse baked for dinner.  All of these things are good.  Even in the midst of a season when the nights are too long.


Jana is a university administrator and teaches History. Her soloblog is

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5 Responses

  1. G says:

    I do so love getting packages.

    also.. I tend to get blue this time of year as well (a good friend suggested I take extra Vitamin D3. Just a thought).

    hope you find many comforts and cheers to get you through.

  2. Alisa says:

    I do the same thing this time of year. I do a lot of Internet shopping (it suits the needs of a full-time working mom of a high-maintenance baby), and I love getting the packages. A certain coffee chain has a signature hot chocolate with caramel and toffee and sea salt sprinkled on top that I like to indulge in when the weather is colder. I love putting my lavendar pouch in the microwave and curling up with a book or one of my 19th-century romance movies. And when it’s sunny, I enjoy going on walks in the crisp air and seeing leaves fall from the trees before my eyes.

    I also admit to pulling out the Christmas music now because it makes me happy, and because I do a lot of Christmas shopping in November so I can sit back and enjoy December.

  3. Caroline says:

    Your references to feeling a bit blue, at least in part because of the season, reminded me of this beautiful old post on this topic from Deborah. Who knew there were these wonderful light lamps out there?

    Hope you feel better soon, Jana. I love those packages too. 🙂

  4. Kmillecam says:

    Jana, I love getting packages too. I have a system worked out where I have to get something from Amazon every month or I feel disconnected from the outside world, heh. I hope you get a lot of purring kitten-snuggles this week.

  5. Brooke says:

    Jana, you have been someone who reminds me of the simple, wonderful things in life. Like soft, warm socks. Thank you. You are a good friend.

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