Pam’s Pictorama: This post has been on my mind since Easter when I first started thinking about it. The glass shown here is one of a few things I have that belonged to my maternal grandmother, Ann Wheeling. There are some dishes, a ring that served as her engagement ring (what was called a cocktail ring – set with a smattering of tiny diamonds – which I wear frequently on my little finger) and this glass. When my grandmother’s household was broken up as she was moving into a nursing home, my mother asked me what if anything I would like from the house. I immediately requested this glass. It had sat on a sunny windowsill in her kitchen over the sink forever. My mother laughed and said everyone in the family had said the same thing so I didn’t think much more about it. But somehow, to my surprise, it ended up with me.
As a child I was entranced by it. The red glass with the light coming through it, perched on the window sill – I would always stare at it while sitting in her kitchen for delicious meals, table groaning with food, while the grown-ups talked and talked. As a kid I was told that it was something called spatterware and was made with the ends of glass at the close of the day. (This appears to be true.) Growing up at the beach, I collected sea glass. (With recycling I understand that there isn’t much any more, probably for the best – but I did love to gather it as a kid.) The pretty pieces of green glass in a myriad of different shades were wonderful. However, very rare pieces of blue and the almost non-existent red were highly prized amongst us. This glass always made me think of that. Dark red glass. I’m not sure that I ever held it until it was given to me. It is a bit heavier than expected and the lip of the glass isn’t rounded off – the edges are almost sharp. Unfortunately, I do not have a spot for it where the sun comes through it (think cats!) but it sits on a shelf near a window where I see it most days from our couch.
There is a lot to be said about my grandmother who was a woman with an excellent head for figures (did the books for the family bar from the time she was a teenager; see the post Living the Felix Life for the story of the dinner plates from her family) and perhaps more of it will be covered over time. However, I think of her at Easter because she made the most heavenly bread – always with extra loaves for the family to take, at Easter and Christmas. Easter brunch held for the extended family at her house was, among other things, marked by the bread. Some of the dough would be fried into sumptuous hand-size pizzas. Oh my! My sister Loren learned how to make a fair version of the bread – my own hands developed arthritis early on, making bread kneading impossible, so I did not. Sadly the recipe and skill died with my grandmother and then Loren’s untimely death. Although it has now been many years, Easter will always make me think of that bread as much as the vinegar smell of colored eggs and chocolate ones in cardboard baskets.