My grandfather traveled a lot for his job. On average he was on the road at least three weeks a month, home on weekends, and my grandmother didn't seem to mind it a bit. In fact, I think she rather enjoyed it. One summer, not long after I moved into my very first apartment, my grandparents came to Idaho for a visit. My grandmother brought me a jar of soap.
I get a lot of my thriftiness from her and as I remember it was a great big sauerkraut jar that she had pr0bably washed out and saved. She told me that very week, when my grandfather came home from being on the road, he would give her all the little bars of soap he had collected from the hotels he stayed in. In those days when you checked into the hotel there would be two or three little bars of soap wrapped in paper with the hotel logo on it. This was before hotels gave away the little bottles of shower gel, lotion and shampoo.
When she handed me the jar I remember thinking it was kind of an odd thing to give someone, but I also thought it was kind of quaint too. And so like her. The jar was filled with tons of little rectangular soaps. Mostly white bars but there were some yellow and pink ones too. All different brands like Ivory, Dial, Zest and Safeguard. She told me it might come in handy now that I was on my own.
Little did I know how right she was. That jar of soap went with me from house to house as I moved, married, divorced, moved and moved again. And it really did come in handy. Every time money was tight, and it frequently was, I'd dip into that jar and grab a bar of soap to put in the shower or set by the bathroom sink.
Last week a friend of mine sent me home with a basket of hotel soaps and shampoos that she had collected last year while she and her husband traveled. It was fun for me and the girls to go through and take a few things, but the one thing I decided I really wanted was all those little bars of soap.
I had put a jar in the donate box last month because I had hung onto it for well over a year and hadn't come up with a use for it. Then I thought - Hey!
I unwrapped all those little bars of soap and filled it up while telling my girls about the one my grandmother had given me so many, many years ago. Now, once again, I have a jar of soap in the house.
Because you never know. It just might come in handy.