Recently, during a visit with my granddaughter Jade, she told me that she especially loved one of the pictures hanging on my wall that I had painted years ago. The artist in me was thrilled that she liked the creativity of the piece, and the grandmother in me determined that I would make sure Jade would become owner of it when I was gone.
After Jade left, I looked around me and thought about the objects surrounding me that I cherish for the memories they bring to me of loved ones and of places dear to me.
I live in the house that belonged to my parents and during the years since they have been gone, I have made many changes in furniture and paint schemes.
But throughout the house are reminders of them and others I loved that are irreplaceable.
On a shelf in my kitchen is a blue and white saltware pitcher that belonged to my Grandma Fox.
I have memories of this pitcher full of milk with a clean white napkin tied over the top of it and sitting in a box filled with cold water from a natural spring located on my grandparents’ farm.
Grandma would pour glasses of milk from this pitcher to go with the teacakes she fed us when we were children.
In the bottom of a cabinet on the other side of my kitchen is a set of cast iron pans used by my mother to turn out some of the best cornbread and fried chicken I have ever eaten.
I remember my mother flitting about in the kitchen every time I use these pans, and I sincerely wish that, along with the black pans, she could have left me some of her amazing cooking skills, but that didn’t happen.
In a box in the closet of my son Jeff’s bedroom is a Pendleton wool blanket that belonged to my dad.
I remember how proud he was of this blanket on the day it was delivered to him, along with a special book.
The book was a picture album published by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians honoring the elders of the tribe who were living when this book was printed. Daddy’s picture was included and the beautiful blanket was adorned with the seal of the tribe.
Any time company dropped by, Daddy would be sure to pull out his blanket and display it with pride.
I have souvenirs in my house from a trip I made years ago to the amazing Southwest. I fell in love with that awe-inspiring land. The objects I brought back with me are cherished for the memories I recall when I look at them. My favorite pieces are a graceful red clay vase adorned with turquoise chips and a storyteller statuette.
This small ornament with little children perched on her shoulders, under her arms and in her lap represents the beloved storytellers of each tribe who kept alive the history and legends of these ancient people.
My friend and office buddy, Annette, recently returned from her own trip to the Southwest. I was thrilled when she brought me a beautiful little handmade pot that she bought at Mesa Verde in Colorado. That was one of my favorite locations on my trip years before, and I was so happy to have this reminder of a place that was so awesome in every sense of the word.
This pot adds to my list of cherished items, along with the memories that are associated with them.
The combination is priceless.
Thanks so much, Annette, for adding to my treasures.