Last night a nice son bought a pin from my shop for a mother's day present, and I'm thrilled that it will end up with someone's mom, and at the same time sorry that I sold it.
This pin belonged to my grandmother, Alice, a woman who was less than five feet tall but still imposing. She was a schoolteacher until they made her quit when she got married. She was a good cook and a perfectionist, which meant that cakes went down the toilet if they weren't perfect. (And why the toilet? A throwback to the days on the farm when she had an outhouse?)
I have vivid memories of her big house in Kansas City, where she always had one jar of baby marshmallows and one jar of chocolate chips; she had celluloid reindeer on her mantle every Christmas; there was an attic with holes in the floor over toward one edge, but trunks of old clothes that we were allowed to play with; and she always made the lightest home-baked crescent rolls and a green Jell-O mold with cottage cheese that my sister loved, but not me.
One of my last memories of her, and one of the most vivid, is driving with her into downtown Kansas City at about 40 miles an hour in the left two lanes of the highway. It was the last time I ever let her drive when we were together, though she kept her car (an old Dodge Dart) for a number of years, unwilling to admit she shouldn't use it. It was at least three or four years after that before she was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
I have other pieces of her jewelry, but know I'll miss this brooch and memories of it pinned to her precise little suits. I'm starting a collection of her china though (Russel Wright in chartreuse) and I have her roll recipe, which I haven't made in years. Maybe I'll try it out again for mother's day.