When I was a kid my grandmother carried a purse with her, all the time. It may have been one of many but likely a huge vinyl affair that she could drop a gallon of milk into. It had a handle for dangling off her arm (shoulder bags had yet to make the scene) and a change purse clasp on the top, two metal balls that clicked together and apart in a satisfying way. Inside the purse were all kinds of bits and bobs that seemed mysterious and grown up to me. Lipstick tubes with round mirrors attached, pens embossed with the name of insurance companies, tiny vials of saccharine tablets with their own mini tweezers for dispensing, embroidered handkerchiefs and best of all, crackly, cellophane wrapped hard candies.
When I was with my grandmother, in the backseat of our car or at a table for a family function, I knew if I stared at it long enough my grandmother would open her purse and ask me if I wanted a ‘sucker’. After a minute of digging around her hand would appear out of the purse holding an oval butterscotch Brachs candy, twisted in a piece of yellow cellophane. Or it might have been a round ball of ice blue mint or red & white swirled peppermint, and rarely, but by far my favorite, was the root beer barrel that you had to be careful to suck the hard edges off so as not to cut the roof of your mouth. When there was little left to suck on I crunched them into my teeth ensuring that our dentist would be able to put another of his kids through college.
They say that in the end we all become our mothers (or fathers) but in regard to treats I may have become my grandmother. When out on our woods walks I am more than willing to dig around through the lint in my pockets for one last piece of kibble when a dog bounds up to me. I know they are still happy to be with me, even if all I can come up with is lint.