Household items spark memories from long ago

Published 2:23 am Saturday, January 13, 2018

I was ready for a snack and reached in my kitchen cabinet for a four ounce, dark amber glass. It was perfect to hold the ice cold milk I enjoyed with a piece of chocolate cake. As I took it down from the shelf, I thought about my uncle who gave it to me many years ago. He used glass-cutting equipment to turn beer bottles into neat little glasses like mine. I couldn’t help smiling as I poured the milk, thinking how objects I have around my house often trigger memories of friends or loved ones.

Filling up one of my kitchen shelves is a set of English dishes I inherited from my mother’s youngest sister. She was a very special person to me. The dishes had been a Christmas gift to her from my mother, who worked in the china and gift department at a Birmingham department store.

Tucked in another kitchen cabinet is the pressure cooker I received from my mother. It was included in the trunk full of my possessions when I joined my husband in South Carolina shortly after we married. The little steam “thingy” that fits on top of it holds a place on the windowsill above my kitchen sink. Every time I use that “ancient” piece of cookware, I think of Mother. Actually, my house is filled with items passed to me from my mother. During her retirement, she worked with ceramics at which she excelled. The shop owner was so impressed with her work that she encouraged her to attend workshops to learn special techniques. Afterwards, Mother did pieces for display for the shop. I use a couple of her beautiful ceramic ladies as costume jewelry hangers.

My husband always had fun at Christmas giving me silly presents. For years, he placed a package of one or more wooden spoons under the Christmas tree for me. I always think of him when I use a wooden spoon.

The paper towel holder standing on a kitchen counter was given to me by my maternal grandmother. I have a framed piece of embroidery work and several quilts embellished with the tiny stitches she painstakingly took on them. My paternal grandmother was too busy cooking and working in her yard to quilt. She made stuffed toys for our children. One of her cute stuffed kittens still brings me smiles.

Hanging on the door leading to my dining room from the kitchen is an appliquéd letter holder my granddaughter brought me from a visit to Hawaii. Every time I take certain pairs of earrings from a pretty monogrammed container, I think of my granddaughter who gave it to me.

Nestled in one of my bookshelves is a book of columns titled “My Country Roads” by the late Lou Brown. Just a glance at the cover brings sweet memories. I picture Mis’ Lou in my mind’s eye as I open the book and marvel at her insightful writings reflecting her love of God and his creation.



Nina Keenam is retired from the newspaper industry.