One hot, steamy day in August, my sister and I took my three kids on a field trip of sorts. We left New Jersey and took public transportation into Brooklyn. Once there, we visited my sister-in-law and her scrumptiously adorable new baby boy. We all went out to lunch together, and my kids whispered to me that we have to buy Mo Willems' Knufflebunny for the baby because his neighborhood looks just like the one in the book. Plus it's really funny. That's one blank filled on my Christmas shopping list. After lunch, we left my sister-in-law and her perfect boy and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge. It was interesting, fun, and ridiculously hot. I believe I told the kids my underwear was so sweaty you could grow rice in it. Or something like that. Once we made it to midtown Manhattan, we stopped in every place we thought might be air conditioned. One of those places was an old fashioned tobacconist shop. It had a wooden Indian outside and everything. I don't smoke and never have, but oh, the smell of pipe tobacco is divine. Combine it with air conditioning on a hot humid day, and I could have moved in. While my sister and I inhaled as deeply as possible and perused the tobacco products and their accoutrements, my three kids asked the salesmen if they had any extra empty cigar boxes. A very nice tobacconist (talk about old school words) led them into a room sized humidor to make their selections.
I'm not glorifying cigar smoking. In fact, I think it's nasty. But cigar boxes are magical. They seem made for holding collections even more than for holding cigars. They are perfect for stamps, baseball cards, comic books, video games, rocks, shells, photographs, paperback novels, coins, even buttons. Yes, that's my daughter's button collection shown above. There is something timeless about wooden and cardboard boxes with hinged lids and gold seals, pictures of Spanish ladies and foreign writing. Who needs Ikea or WalMart for storage solutions? Cheap plastic boxes hold cheap stuff; cigar boxes house treasures.