Strolling through a flea market, I recalled such sweet memories. My great-uncle Ernie knew junk. Or at least that was my thoughts when I was a teenager. Junk. Old stuff. Dusty stuff. Just junk. He even owned a store in Cornettsville, Ky called “Sanford and Son.” It was wall to wall junk.
My Granny and Uncle Ernie would spend hours talking about their treasures. See, as we drove up to Cornettsville, Granny insisted on stopping at every junk boutique between here and there. My Pop would get so frustrated with her; but, always stopped.
Granny would take me by the hand and pull me through the stores. She pointed out things that brought her memories of her childhood or things that were priced to high. “They only think that is a precious piece.” she would say. She would buy up little bowls, teapots, or platters that where authentic “brown ware.” Or….. unique wooden boxes.
Then, of course, she had to share her treasures with Uncle Ernie. He would either tell her she was taken or if she got a good thing. Hours they would spend talking “junk.”
So here I am strolling through a junk boutique and basking in memories. All the while, my daughter is sighing and begging us to go. I chuckled. Oh, how much she reminded me of such behavior. I know Granny is laughing in heaven as well. “Paying for my raising!”
And funny thing….. my eyes were finding brown ware. I picked up the pieces and did exactly what Granny did all those years. Turning it over looking for authentic labels. I had no idea what I was looking for….. but I just would pick it up and turn it over. Just like Granny!!
Then I found something. A covered brown ware bowl just like mine that Granny gave me. She handed it to me and asked, “Don’t you remember when we bought this? We were on a trip to Cornettsville, and now I want you to have it.” Sadly and mostly ashamed, I did not remember. Now, I hold it as a treasure. Something valuable to me….. A memory of Granny.
Then I ran across something really special at a yard sale. A kitchen prayer wall plate. Just like the one my Grandmother and Mom had hanging in their kitchen window. I ran my fingers across it. I closed my eyes and could picture it hanging to the left of their kitchen windows. How many times I must have read it while doing the dishes. Memories.
Memories of gathering around the table in Grandma’s tiny kitchen. The laughter and the fun we shared. I could taste her fried potatoes. Smell the apple pies. I could see Grandma, my mom and my aunt at the kitchen sink. Mom washed. My aunt rinsed. And Grandma put away. I never realized how special that moment was as a kid. The three of them doing what they always had done.
A memory before Mom’s sudden death, Grandma growing older and frail before her passing, and before a great divide between the sisters…… They chatted. They laughed. They talked about everything while washing those dishes. A moment in time frozen.
My heart broke. It grew heavy with sorrow. I sighed and bought this 10 cent treasure. I prayed that moment that hearts would soften. Heartbreaks forgiven. And restoration. Something I have given up on over the years since my grandparents passed. God willing thanks to a simple kitchen prayer that now hangs just left of my kitchen window.
May God bless you today.