Sunday, July 15, 2012

Treasures from Home

My sifter belonged to my great-aunt Mabel
On our recent trip to visit family in Tennessee, I drove.  In case you were wondering, it's about an 18-hour drive, and yes I take two days to do it.  I am too old to drive that far in one day, especially with a car full of teenagers:)  We have flown before, but the cost of seven plane tickets is prohibitive, and then there is still the problem of transportation while we are there.  The other problem with flying is that I can't bring anything back with me.  Since this time I did have the car, I was able to bring back some treasures.

My mom had offered me these pink dishes before, but I had declined to take them, mainly because there is not enough of them to go around for my large family.  But after thinking about it, I decided I could probably add to them through some antique shopping, either locally or via ebay.  I changed my mind and asked if the offer was still good (it was:).  The large dessert or cake plate and the six small serving plates that match it belonged to my great-grandmother (my mother's maternal grandmother).  She died when my mom was ten, so I know her only through family stories.

The dishes are very faintly pink pressed glass, very pretty in person.  They are not particularly expensive and may have been something that came as a promotional item in oatmeal or flour containers. The cookie jar and the goblets were picked up by mom at thrift stores here and there, but she gave them all to me as a set that goes together.  The cookie jar has a broken lid, but I think it can be glued back together.

She also gave me these two glass serving pieces, one square and one for deviled eggs, and this cake dome, which will definitely come in handy to keep flies and greedy dogs out of the treats.
Finally Mom gave me these two cast iron skillets.  The larger one is the right size for making cornbread.  I already have one but I wanted another so that I could make two loaves of cornbread at the same time (necessary to keep everyone happy).  The tiny skillet is just about worn out -- if cast iron can wear out -- but it belonged to my granny (my mother's paternal grandmother), who I did know because she lived until I was 27.  Little skillets like this are good for frying or scrambling an egg or two, and it's always fun to use something that once belonged to someone you loved (or who you would have loved if you could have known them).
And switching over to the other side of the family, these lovely jars of homemade goodness were made by my husband's sister.  She not only let us stay with her during our visit but sent me home with these goodies.  She is a terrific gardener and chicken keeper (and cat and dog and goat keeper, too), and I'm looking forward to enjoying these during the coming year.
It is so nice to visit our families and have little exchanges of treasures, especially since we don't see each other often.    I usually take my mom and sister books I have read that I think they'll like, or toys or games my kids have outgrown that younger cousins might like, or clothes that don't look good on me but might on them, stuff like that.  

It can be good to have tangible reminders that there are people -- even though we live far apart (some as far apart as heaven is to earth:)  -- who love us and think of us despite the distance.  This knowledge helps keep us -- me -- grounded, helps me remember that yes, I am part of a larger group even when I am tempted to think I'm all alone. I think that's how it is with God, too.  Even though He is not physically visible to us, He sends us tangible gifts to remind us that He loves us and to comfort us and to nourish us on the way.  And to remind us that we have a heavenly home and family waiting.  And someday we'll actually be home -- after all, that's where we are headed.

River views from a park near my mom's house

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." -- James 1:17 KJV


  1. Glad you made it safely to your family in Tenn. It's only 4 hours from where I live and I love to visit. I would love to live there someday. You received some priceless treasures from Mom. Have fun.

  2. What a nice visit you had and what a lot of gifts...I'd love the pink depression glass...that's quite a bit of it, too. You're blessed. I think that the skillets would make me grin. Nothing beats a seasoned skillet.

  3. Beautiful post, Angela...from the lovely gifts, to your thoughts about God's gifts. I love the concept that God's gifts bring comfort and nourishment to us. Thank you for sharing this.


  4. What a lovely post - those treasures of bygone family cooking are so precious. I love the idea of things used by previous generations in their kitchens still being used today. Over the years I have acquired a number of not dissimilar items including a pair of Victorian scales belonging to my great grandmother - very battered and unsightly really - but i love using them to make some of the same recipes she used and thinking about the continuity. And as you say it's a continuity that reaches into the here and now and into the hereafter. Enjoy using these lovely things and the sense of closeness to those who used them before you - I am sure they smile with delight that you are doing so, even those who have gone on to their final home, on that further shore beyond our sight, among that multitude which no man can number. E x

  5. Treasures! Good thing you drove. I love the pink dishes. Depression glass?

  6. Look at your treasures...yes, worth taking the car. Also worth all the warm feelings they bring you as you look at them now you are at home and distance between you and your family is felt
    God is faithful!
    Those pink dishes are like my grandmothers...enjoy all you brought back and the memories you made for yourself and the kids this summer

  7. Those are beautiful dishes and a beautiful message too.

  8. Love your treasures Angela, I have an old sifter similar to yours that belonged to my MIL, and getting eatable goodies from loved ones is the icing on the cake. I see you and I have a lot in common. ~smile~

  9. What a beautiful post! I enjoyed seeing all the treasures you got to bring back home and incorporate into your own life. I still love looking at and using the few items I received from my grandmother's home. It all ties us together with family. The cake cover is really neat!

  10. Loved this! I know just what you mean about those treasures - I have quite a collection from both my mom and grandparents. They do keep you connected to roots, memories of simpler times, the comforts of hearth and home in bygone days. I am a believer in being a steward of such things for the next generation. Every 'thing' has a story. You have some familiar treasures I remember from grandma's house - and now steward similar. Hope you hand out a bit at The Writer's Reverie - I'll be stopping in to see you again.

  11. Sigh. Wonderful, again. :)


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