Mrs Pepper

Yesterday passed in a blur. Truck and trailer, boxes and paper, sheets and towels. Things seemed to come in pairs which made a certain kind of sense of the disorder.

I woke this morning at five to finish my reading assignment for tonight’s book group. My connection to the group is back east and I will meet the members alone tonight. As Steve and I furiously unpacked garment boxes to clear a path to the toilet I actually thought about what outfit I might wear. Perhaps denver is changing me already…or perhaps Vermont was as comfortable to me as my dansko clogs which almost always seemed appropriate footwear.

Today is a new day and I am trying a sort of meditative unpacking in contrast to yesterday’s whirlwind. Steve is shut in his office with, like, 289 boxes taking a meeting on east coast time. There is no microwave here so I worked with Oliver on his oatmeal, showing him the stove and the kettle.

Both boys have eaten a bit so I sit with a row of boxes in front of me at the dining room table. I unwrap the items as if each is a present. My present, telling the story of our past and future.

A glass from michigan tech. Leo’s Star Wars mugs that hold his nightly warm milk. A teapot from Tiffany’s a present from my mothers college roommate that I have faithfully wrapped and moved at least 14 times. I use it for flowers despite my love of tea.

Now my grandmothers china which we use more than I ever thought, because I have given more dinner parties than I ever thought with Steve as an enthusiastic chef.

I imagine a party here, perhaps just wine and cheese (and beer.) maybe these very women I will meet tonight. With their partners. Our book was Gilead, a long letter from a dying minister to his young son. It’s prose was lovely, it’s story far from mine.

I come to a covered jar, a gift from a friend who is a potter in Vermont. The movers have taped round and round it to keep it closed. We keep pink salt crystals in it. I tell myself tobe careful as I unwind the tape. I am too focused on peeling it cleanly from the surface. Within e final twist I imagine hitherto salt puring out, onto my feet and the dining room floor. I hold the jar together, but not me. I cry a little bit.

It is the potter who makes me sad. A wedding present he gave Steve and I despite not being invited. He represents our Vermont. The creativity,the kindness, the small way he has entered our lives. It is not our dear friends I miss. I know I wimageill see them. It is this man and the many other friends like him.

I set the jar down with the mugs. I want to put it on the counter where it will live but I hold myself here. I don’t want to escape this unpacking, remembering and imagining just yet,

A few packages later I find Mrs Pepper. I was upset yesterday to unpack her mister without her. I stand up quickly, ignoring my plan to stay put and sheets of paper shower the ground with the imagined salt spill.

I bring her to them. Another pair.

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Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble,, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at

One thought on “Mrs Pepper”

  1. I find your move inspiring and scary, sudden and surreal. Most of all, I am sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye in person and I hope you keep writing. xoxoxo.

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