Gram’s Teapot, My Cherished Item
Her name was Lillian Francis Murray. Born in 1894, she grew up in Kansas, but spent her summers in Kentucky on her grandfather’s horse-breeding plantation. She was an excellent horsewoman, she baked cakes (no boxes involved) that rose higher than anyone else’s. Her quilt stitches were perfect. If she mended anything, you couldn’t tell there had been a crack or, in the case of clothes, a hole before she took a needle to the fabric. She was a “Waste Not Want Not” thinker, and she scrubbed everything to a shine–including one always slightly scruffy girl-child. I can still hear her say, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
I knew her as Mom. She was the person who picked me up when I cried, or who I ran to with a skinned knee. Oh, I had my mother, too. I was the only kid in the neighborhood with two moms. One went to work every morning. The other one stayed home with me.
She taught me how to cook. She taught me how to sew. Mostly she taught me never to even think about shirking work unless it was Sunday. On that day, she’d sit in the living room and listen to my grandfather play his violin, we’d have a light “supper” and then maybe go to a movie, or friends would come over to play cards and talk. On the summer Sundays, she’d send me with my wagon to pick up ice at the corner market, and then I’d gather the neighbor kids to churn homemade ice cream. Grandpa would always take the last part of the churning duty because none of us had the muscle to crank it when it was nearly frozen.
She didn’t own a lot of things that were only for decoration. I remember everything having a useful purpose. And this teapot had a very useful purpose. It came into our home before I can remember. It was always either in the hutch next to the kitchen table and ready for use or on the table itself and filled with sweet-smelling tea.
I’ve accumulated many valuables over time. This teapot is probably the least valuable in terms of money, but if there’s a fire, my grandmother’s teapot will go with me before any of the other things. It represents her and brings her voice to me just as I heard it in the days I was at her side.
Thanks for the Cherished Blogfest and a chance to visit my gram again. I even made tea in her pot today, so I could extend my visit with her.