Friday, July 10, 2020

Sharing Our Stories #52Stories 26/52: Lessons from a Lunchbox

I'm attempting to write 52 stories from my life during the year 2020. At least one story a week, in no particular order, to remember and document some of the memories and moments of my life.

Maybe your dad didn't have a lunch box, but my working class dad carried one every day to his job at USNAD (United States Navy Ammunition Depot) in McAlester, Oklahoma. He left home before I ever woke up, but I was there in the afternoons when he came home from work, lunchbox in hand. It was dark gray metal, with a rounded top that could hold a full size thermos of coffee, enough to fuel his long day of work. And his lunches? I'm not sure what kind of sandwiches he had. Bacon? Baloney? Fried egg sandwiches? There wouldn't have been any fruit except for bananas and certainly no vegetables. My dad loved bananas and used to say if you were out of bananas that you were out of groceries.

Sometimes a piece of cake was tucked into his lunch box, carefully wrapped in waxed paper. And so when Daddy came home from work, I took his lunch box, set it carefully on our red kitchen table, undid the metal clasps and peeked inside to see if there might be a tiny morsel of cake left inside for me, Dad's youngest and sometimes spoiled daughter.

 I love this replica of my Dad's lunchbox that I found
years ago. It makes me smile every time I see it.

My memories of this lunch box are not all sweetness and happy times. When you washed the supper dishes, the job wasn't finished until you washed Dad's coffee thermos. And if you forgot? Well, a gruff voice woke you from your slumber at 5 am and you were escorted to the kitchen to complete your forgotten task. 

Sometimes life (or your dad) hands you a morsel of sweetness, but it (or he) can also be the voice reminding you that chores are to be done when assigned. And if you forget? Well, an early wake up call at 5 am does wonders going forward to help you remember.

To savor the magic of story, join the fun by linking your story at Sharing Our Stories.


  1. I like the way you crafted this. I wonder with you what did your dad eat for lunch. An ordinary object used in a daily routine reveals life lessons that you've never forgotten.

  2. My least favorite chore was working in the garden. I also got up at 5 sometimes to do this. I enjoyed reading this story!