Years ago, time and the elements, around old homeplaces, plowed garden spots and flower beds played a big part in my glass findings.
I know it’s a child-like thing to do, but it’s a grown-up things I can’t resist doing. I’ve always liked picking up pieces of glass. The proof of my liking is in the landing place with other pieces picked up from time to time, at my back entrance.
When I spot a pretty or unusual piece of glass that suddenly creates a nostalgic thought or brings to mind a memory…I pick it up. I carefully place it on a ridged extension near my back door where I can take a look from time to time, at it and all the other pieces I have discovered and saved…with mixed thoughts of what “it” might have been originally and who “it” might have belonged to at one time. Maybe fine china from a foreign land? Could that piece of cobalt blue glass have once been a premium Shirley Temple milk pitcher given with the purchase of a sack of flour?
The piece of blue and white splatter ware might have been a mixing bowl belonging to my Grandma, found during a remodeling job. When I look at the piece of glass I’ve picked up somewhere, hand painted with gold trim, I wonder…”Could this be one small part of a Homer Lauglin meat platter used by a special family only on holidays?” Judging from he location found, I picture in my mind, who at one time, might have owned the treasure I have unearthed.
A slightly buried piece of salt glaze could have once been a milk pitcher belonging to Mattie Griffin who lived in the house next door so long ago. Maybe her son, Bobby had something to do with it’s breakage.
Mowing the lawn one day, I spotted a pretty piece of pink depression glass. I recognized the pattern (Mayfair.) It was in the far corner of the property that joins ours, where the two-story house once stood, back in the 40s when we started the building of our house…where Ruth Robison and her five sons had previously lived. Let me see…there was Tommy, Charlie, Emmet, Floyd and Walter, nicknamed “Bunk.” This pretty piece of pink depression glass could have once been from a three piece place setting, from a plate, cup or saucer that Mrs. Robison purchased when she was employed at Clark & Bailey Mercantile, as clerk, cream tester and post mistress. When the Robison family moved out the property was bought by Eddie and Pearl Webb, who became my new next door neighbors.
“You know what?”
Maybe id it didn’t belong to Mrs. Ruth Robison, it might have been a sugar bowl or a cream pitcher that graced Pearl’s dinner table.
IT’S JUST A PIECE OF GLASS, but with my imagination, thought and memories embedded in my mind, marked by innocence befitting my childhood, that piece of glass…at the time of finding, can be anything I want it to be.
Perhaps it is a childish thing to do, but I just can’t resist the temptation. Back then, and now.
My world is small I ignore poverty
I know no different and summer is
my favorite season
alive with secrets to discover
An empty match box to comfort me
to hold all my treasures…
cardboard, but standing the test of steel and all there is space for.
Today, a treasure hunt!
The bangs of my untrimmed hair
blocks out a part of the sun
making the summer heat bearable.
I stoop and pick up the iridescent glass
some yellow, some clear and sparkly.
I notice unknown patterns and shapes
finding porcelain with flow-blue swirls,
with a bit of faded gold.
I swoop them up,
and my match box fills too quickly.
I finger the jewels I have found,
they’re my possessions I know for sure.
This could be fine china from a foreign land.
I slowly close my match box full of treasures
…and I handle with care.
By Mary Ann Gamble