A special set of glasses

I was mowing the lawn at my home the other day, and while I was moving the lawn mower from the front yard to the back, I decided to get a drink. Into the kitchen I went, lemonade from the fridge and over to the cupboard for a glass. Up on the top shelf I saw it, smiled, reached and pulled down what is without a doubt my favorite glass.

It used to belong to my grandmother, Nana. She had a full set, and probably got them from saving S&H Greenstamps (now thatís going way back). And if not from there, they likely werenít expensive. But the best lemonade I ever had came out of those glasses. Iíd mow the lawn at her house, and dripping with sweat, come inside when I was done. I didnít have to ask, didnít have to look. As soon as I finished, Nana was standing there with an ice cold glass for me.

Over time, those glasses became a part of visiting her house. I canít explain it, but they just became my favorites. If she offered me something to drink when I would visit, it had to be served in one of those glasses.

She passed away four months prior to my wedding. When we cleaned up the apartment she lived in at the time, I saw the glasses and passed them to my wife. ďDonít lose theseĒ I told her. They became the water glasses for us at the head table of our wedding. And now they are in my home.

I suppose there are lots of things from my youth that I have no mementos for. This just happens to be one I do. But when I try to explain to my stepsons about asking questions and enjoying moments as they pass, itís very difficult to explain how important a glass might be to them one day. Itís like trying to explain the significance of sheets drying on a clothesline.

Ah yes, some of you will remember that pleasant smell. A cool spring breeze comes through the windows into the house. Outside, sheets are on the line, the scent of Downey filling the air. Clothes drying outsideÖ one of the true signs of improving weather. And itís gone. Today you donít see people hanging clothes outside as much, forget about the smell that went along with it.

In my office, directly above the monitor to my computer is a small mouse. Itís made up of a flat rock, some felt for ears and a tail, and tiny buttons for a nose. The whiskers have long since melted off. For Christmas every year, my parents would give the kids a few dollars to shop for presents. It became quite the chore. You had to be economical, and you really tried to find something people would ďoohĒ and ďaahĒ over on Christmas morning. Once at a church bazaar, I spotted this very mouse on a table. I couldnít tell you the reason why, but it seemed perfect for Nana and a bargain at twenty-five cents.

When I gave it to her, she placed it on the top of her stove (hence the melted whiskers). It remained a constant, visible display in her kitchen for easily over twenty-years. She had a few items like that in her house. She was famous for saying everything was beautiful and she cherished anything her grandchildren gave her. Even a couple of gifts given as a joke became treasures to her.

And now they are treasures for me.

Indeed it is the little things.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com