Monday, January 26, 2009
As a child growing up in the forties, living in a rural area, everyone I knew used empty peanut butter jars, jelly jars and sometimes a pint mason jar. as drinking glasses. Our mamas would soak off the labels most of the time and scrub them till they sparkled like crystal. I thought nothing of it and neither did anyone else. It's how things were. Many a table was set with mismatched and chipped dishes and the empty jars set beside our plates to drink from. Those were some of the best meals I ever ate!
Mom never had a set of matching dishes in her life. I was grown and married before I learned there was such a thing. Sooo, one Christmas Dad planned to surprise Mom with a complete set of dishes. He let me in on the secret and, though I really wanted to, I never told a soul. We had a small town around twenty miles away with a hardware store that sold open stock dishes, which is where Dad decided to go. He said there were so many to choose from.
Well, when Mom opened the big box there they were!! A plate with a gold rim, one with blue flowers, a cup with a green vine and -----you get the idea. No two dishes were alike! I know my poor dad must have spent quite some time making sure of it. Mom was as pleased as punch. My eyes were big as saucers when I saw what else was in the box----six plastic glasses!! They were all different colors, but, oh,my! Real glasses! I thought about being a little uppity with my friends, but knew that Mom would not approve. She let me help her wash them and put them all away. I put the pretty new glasses in front of the assorted jars.
It was just not in me to wait till the holiday dinner was served to use our new glasses. I looked around to be sure no one watched, got the pink one down and took it outside to pump ice cold water straight into it. Oh, Lord that was good water! I raised my glass in the chilly air and right then I knew that, for whatever reason, I would always remember this day and Mama's dishes.