Monday, December 5, 2016

Grandma's Pyrex

Last Saturday was my grandparents estate sale. Grandma passed away last December and Papaw passed away in April of 2007. Joe had a major commitment to host an archery tournament at his school, so he was unable to go and I took all the kids except Joseph with me to the sale. I had really wrestled with whether I could go to the auction but I'm so glad that I was able to be there. The kids were very good, they endured the cold and sitting for hours. It was a bittersweet day, but seeing all their household items brought back lots of good memories.


My grandparents had the biggest mailbox ever. I was always impressed by how much mail Grandma received and loved getting the mail for her. She was an Avon lady for years and then sold Home Interior. She couponed before it was cool and always saved recipes from her cooking magazines. I loved looking through her many magazine subscriptions. She was the best cook ever. Hands down! Mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, pinto beans, fried cornbread, homegrown tomatoes, corn and green beans. Strawberry Rhubarb pie was her specialty. Her tea was sweet but I always chose milk to drink, a treat to drink milk at supper. She loved to feed her family and watch us eat her food. Her table was always filled with dish after dish and there was always room for one more person at the table. 

As I walked through the empty house I could hear Grandma and Papaw's voices clear as day and see their smiling faces.❤️They were married 65 years, raised 11 kids, worked hard on their dairy farm, lived full lives with big gardens, "tobacca" patches and hay fields. They endured tragedy, great losses and heartbreaking sadness. I don't know how they did it all. I always felt like they were proud of me and that is something when I'm 1 of 22 grandkids. They were proud of each of us. Grandma rarely forgot my birthday and gave me a card and birthday gift of assorted items, like tin trays, tiny jewelry boxes, flavored Avon chapstick and deodorant. Christmas was much the same. My favorite gifts from her was a Miss Piggy and Kermit Necklace, that I still have and a brass doll bed that she made me promise to keep forever and I have that too.


I'm grateful for the memories of Papaw asking me to play his favorite song "Silent Night" on piano, no matter what time of year he visited. His favorite candy was orange slices. He was passionate about International tractors, steam engines, Cadillacs and buying Made in the USA. One of the scariest things I ever saw were his false teeth in a jar when I opened the bathroom cabinet. 

They used to love to eat at a restaurant called Banquet Table, Papaw pronounced it "Ban-a-cket Table". A pillow was a "piller" and a window was a "win-der". And tomatoes and potatoes were "Maters and Taters". Grandma used to say, "Well, I'll be." Or "I swawny." When asked how she was doing, Grandma almost always said, "Very well." You could often tell how well she was by the weariness in her voice, but "very well." just the same.

I'll never forget being taller than her, she was one of the first adults I outgrew. I remember her telling me the number to call on their rotary phone in the kitchen, listening for a ring and hanging up so that the phone would ring in the barn and Papaw would know supper was ready and to hurry to finish the milking. Grandma worked crosswords and was awesome at Wheel of Fortune but truly amazing at Jeopardy. 

The first bid I won was a box of old bottles. Old glass bottles have been a favorite of mine for many years, Joe proposed to me with a glass bottle. I bought 2 piggy banks that used to sit on the dresser in a bedroom my cousins and I would play in at holiday get-togethers. I bought her rolling pin and mat, I scored some drinking glasses I remember pouring Papaw buttermilk in when I helped set the table. 

My favorite thing I get to keep forever are some of Grandma's Pyrex. She used her Pyrex daily, set them on the table to serve her food and stored her lunch leftovers in the oven in them until reheating them at supper. I have always had a thing for collecting Pyrex pieces so adding some of her own, that I remember, to my collection makes me extra happy.

I hope when I die people remember and treasure the ways and things I used to make daily life beautiful. Grandma had pretty trinkets and valuable heirlooms but these pieces that she used almost daily make me the most happy in helping keep her and Papaw's memories alive in my home. Reminders of how legacy is built by living life one day at a time working, serving, saving and giving. Legacy begins with how we live daily in the ordinary.
Following are pictures from this past summer.


Carrie Caldwell Masterson said...

Love this post! I can see everything you're describing about Aunt Ernestine and Uncle O'Shea. I loved them dearly. She was such a comfort after my own grandma (her sister Florine) died because they reminded me so much of one another. I'm so glad you got something special to keep her memory and legacy alive.

Lara Caldwell Skaggs said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. Aunt Ernestine reminds me so much of my grandma, they were more like twins than just sisters. I remember hugging her when Uncle O'shea passed away shortly after my grandma (Florine) and your sweet granny told me she guessed those two would have some good laughs watching after her. We sure are from a very remarkable family.

Tammy Brady Newton said...

Beautiful tribute to a truly wonderful couple.