I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of Two Writing Teachers for creating this supportive community.
One of my favorite exercises from 59 Reasons to Write by Kate Messner is the “junk drawer memory” suggested by Jo Knowles. We all have those messy drawers, and the idea is to root around in one until you find an object that speaks to you in some way. Yesterday I just happened to put my fingers on my wick trimmer when I was looking for something else and I remembered…
Like me, my daughter-in-law loves candles. A few Christmases ago, while shopping for gifts, I saw wick trimmers in the candle store and picked up one for her (and one for me). I slipped it into a gift bag with a candle I thought she would like and it eventually found its way under the tree. On Christmas Eve, shortly after Brian and Jane arrived and the glow from the setting sun started to wane, I began lighting the candles in the kitchen. But first, I used my new handy-dandy wick trimmer to make sure all those wicks were just the right height!
Look, Brian, your mom has a wick trimmer! See, it’s not a crazy idea! It’s so easy to get down into the candle with a wick trimmer!
Apparently they had recently been in a candle store and Jane was interested in buying a wick trimmer. Brian felt it was a waste of money, that you could do the same thing with a scissors! But for anyone into candles, you know that’s just not true. Even though it wasn’t quite Christmas yet, I had to give her the gift right then!
I have bought many gifts for Jane – dangly earrings, soft warm sweaters, paperback books, even a snazzy modern umbrella, but I don’t think I will ever top the wick trimmer. It comes up in conversation every Christmas – part of our family lore.