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  • Writer's pictureJeanette Vermilya

Time to Remember

They have been there all the time! In a safe place, on the highest shelf in a kitchen cupboard, positioned side by side, together, all in a row they sat. Ten small-stemmed dessert dishes, green and fragile, had survived many years of being packed away, unpacked, and put away again. “Depression Glass” identifies them.  From time to time, they were brought out of hiding, washed, shined, and admired. The sweet little dishes had belonged to my grandmother, then passed down to me. They have been treasured and protected for safe-keeping and for remembering my Grandma, “Sadie,” as she was called.  

 

“Mother’s Oats,” a brand of oatmeal in her day was a pantry staple. Every box included a cup, saucer, or a small dish. I couldn’t help but think of the incentive it must have been for women during those difficult, hard years of scraping to make ends meet. Then, voila! “Mother’s Oats” company to the rescue.  Even then, women enjoyed a freebie once in a while. They had been collected by Grandma through the years, though they were never used for every-day. They were keepsakes.  All these years later, it felt honoring, almost sacred, to tuck them away in a trunk or trunk or corner of a cupboard away for safety. I knew they were “there,” and they were mine – forever treasures.


Rediscovering the little green glass dishes set the stage for me to remember God’s many deeds and grace in my life.  After being washed and rinsed, made sparkly clean, we “reunited.” I think I heard them whisper to me, “Please take us off the shelf; we want to serve in the mainstream of life.” I yielded to the temptation. Now, the almost 90-year-old, delicate, antique treasures, known as Depression Glass, grace the dining room table at Shunem House with renewed value and dignity. Pride and joy rise in me as the dishes stand ready to be filled with a pudding, custard, or cherry-topped ice cream dessert, then served to complete a meal. The precious little dishes have been “rediscovered,” and a story has emerged with them. I think what I like best about the story is that the little glass dishes are more than unusable “collectibles.”  They serve as a teaching tool for life. Many places in Scripture, we are instructed to “remember” our roots, learn from the past, and give God thanks for bringing us to where we are.   My little green dishes remind me to do so.   As I carefully hold the little green dishes, I visit with my grandmother, Sarah Josephine, for whom I am named (Sarah Jeanette). My daughter and granddaughter carry her name, “Sarah” as well. I remember good times at her house, and I treasure her precious influence.! I can picture her smiling, admiring, feeling, and carefully placing these little treasures in her little humble kitchen. As I do the same, I am filled up with fresh gratitude for family and home, where life began.

 

The words that Moses gave to the children of Israel  are applicable for us today. “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” (Deuteronomy 4:9)

 

Jeanette

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