When I was in elementary school, I loved peanuts. Especially the kind roasted still in the shell, papery and crumbly at first, then rich and buttery on the inside.
My grandma used to love peanuts too, and every time she came to town we would buy a bag or two to set out on the kitchen counter. I remember what a treat it was to stand around the counter with her and whoever else was around (my mom working in the kitchen, perhaps, or my dad sharing in the snack), crushing the shells and slipping out the brown nuts, accumulating a pile of dusty debris, the slow process of unshelling the perfect companion to conversation.
She must have held those moments dear as well, because every summer when I would go away for summer camp she would send me a care package with a bag of peanuts. Every summer, every time, without fail. To get a care package to a week-long summer camp on the other side of the country reasonably early in the camp requires much forethought, but she never let me down: I could always count on her peanuts and Maria cookies.
We don’t eat peanuts much together anymore, and haven’t for years. I had forgotten all about it until Rondel discovered roasted peanuts this week, actually. Her diverticulitis makes it much less enjoyable for her! But I’m glad I thought of it again, that I have those simple rituals of our relationship to remember. Because things don’t have to be complicated or extravagant to be important, and love colors even the most mundane things with beauty and value.