I want to tell you a story about a bread board that I came into possession of 36 years ago. And a very sweet lady named Lee. Women will probably understand my feelings, men....not so much!
Jim and I bought our first house in 1976. We moved in the weekend of our countries 200th Birthday. Our home came with a built-in bread board that I really didn't think much about. After all it is just a piece of wood.
Over the years, 36 of them, I used that bread board to make cookies, pies, breads, cinnamon rolls, and candy. It was used during Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, birthday parties, graduation celebrations, family gatherings, work parties, Bible studies, and Bunco to name a few occasions.
I made stuff for my family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and kids at school for holiday/birthday parties. I really didn't think much about the bread board, it was just a piece of wood. It was there in the house, it was a tool to use in the kitchen, and it came in quite handy. I have stood at the counter using the board with my children when they were little and when they were adults. I have used it in the morning, afternoon, evening, and on occasion in the middle of the night.
Last year Jim and I decided to sell our home after living in it 36 years. I really thought it would bother me a lot but I was pretty excited to start a new adventure. Our daughter, Kim, told me I should take the bread board. I said, "I can't do that. It comes with the house. And it would look ugly with an open space where the bread board so nicely fits under the counter." I was taken up with packing and planning for our new home, I didn't give it a second thought. After all it was just a piece of wood.
We moved to Placerville, CA on March 4, 2013. We had a pre-maufactured home built for the property that we purchased. We were very busy with the preparation of the property, and deciding everything we wanted put in our home. When you buy a pre-manufactured home, it comes with the bare minimum. Everything you add is tacked onto the home price. So when we sat down with our salesperson we added everything we could think of and then started deleting items to get the price down. I thought we had down a good job getting the items we felt we really wanted.
That is until we moved in and I went to make some cookies. I did NOT have a bread board! How could I forget to put such a useful kitchen tool in my kitchen? So, I went out and looked at bread boards in the stores. They were too expensive and too small. I made cookies a couple of more times, on my kitchen counter top. I said, "I miss my bread board and I wish I had it." Of course my daughter reminded me that she told me to take it. I thought about it for about a week, and then got up the nerve to send an email to the lady who bought our house.
Her name is Lee. I sent her an email explaining how many memories were in the bread board there in our old home on Pasito Ave. I told her how every Christmas I would make cinnamon rolls on it, and how I have so many memories using it with the kids. I asked her if she uses it, and if she doesn't would she mind mailing it to me, and that I would pay for the shipping. I thought, before hitting the send button, either she will understand or think I am completely CRAZY!
Lee emailed me back that she totally understood how the board could hold memories and that she doesn't use it because she brought her own board with her when she moved in. She even checked into the cost of replacing it. Unfortunately she discovered that it would cost $75 to replace. It is a good size board. I told her I would save up the money and send it to her. But if she re-models the kitchen to please not throw the board out.
About a week later, a received an email from Lee. She had put out an AD for a new board and a lady that lives not too far from her replied that she had one she didn't want and it would fit in the slot. Then Lee proceeds to write that I owe her nothing for the new board because it was given to her, and that she already mailed my board to me. I should receive it in 2 days as she even paid for 2-day delivery. Plus she would not take any money from me for the shipping. She said it would be her Random Act of Kindness. WOW!
I thanked her from the bottom of my heart. The more I thought about having my bread board of 36 years the more excited I got. Well, two days came and went. Then a week went buy. Before I knew it 2 weeks had gone by. Still no board!
Let me stop and tell you that the day before Lee mailed the board we changed our address from our PO Box to our home address. Lee had mailed the board to our PO Box. I thought 'Okay, when it arrives at the Placerville Post Office they will slap a change of address sticker on it and mail it to our home. Nope. When I asked at the Post Office about the board and address change they said it would be sent back to Sacramento for them to put the change of address sticker on it and then sent back to Placerville.
After several emails back and forth Lee sent me a copy of her Post Office receipt so I could track the board. I took the receipt to the Placerville Post Office along with the tracking schedule I printed off their web site. The lady looked to see if it was in the back. It wasn't. I was beginning to think it was lost and that I would never see it again. She then informed me that not only did it get sent back to Sacramento but they sent it to the Post Office's huge distribution center in....you guessed it....Southern CA! That board did more traveling than I did this year! Anyways I was assured that it would return to Placerville eventually.
Today there was a knock on our door. Jim opened it and there was no one there. He said, "Did you hear a knock on the door?" I said, "Yes, check the back door." He did, and there was my board! My board that I thought I really didn't care about until I did not have it.
Yes, I may be a little crazy or sentimental but I guess my hormones got the best of me and once I decided I wanted the board, well, I just wanted it. Lee is a very special person. We didn't really get to become friends when she bought our house but we had met a couple of times. She could have brushed me off when I sent that email and considered me a "kook". But she did not and I know it is because she is a woman. Had a man bought our house and received my email he probably would have changed his email so he wouldn't have to receive anymore crazy requests. LOL
Now when I bake cookies, or rolls, or candy and I use my board I will be reminded of Lee, the wonderful, understanding lady who purchased my home and honored a simple request from another woman.
And that is my story of my bread board, which is so much more than just a piece of wood.