cigarette boxes and ashtray sets that were made as Christmas gifts for relatives. (Back then every coffee table had such a set sitting on it.) My sister has the wonderful Santa Claus that looks like the Santa that was in the ads for Coca Cola. Vases, lamps, pixies, creamers, sugar bowls—until the ceramics studio finally closed down.
Once when I was quite small I simply had to get my hands on those chickens and I climbed up on the kitchen counter to get a closer look. Of course I dropped the rooster and he broke. I can still feel the horror and guilt. Mom carefully glued him back together and the glue has held to this day. When I sorted through all my brickabrack I knew no one would ever love these chickens like I do, so they came to live in my new kitchen.My Mom died ten years ago this month, just five months after Dad. She really was my best friend. She was only 20 when I was born and she said we grew up together, especially in the first few years before my sister and brother came along. We flew kites in the field across the street from the rental house where we lived and we played with my dolls and we painted pictures. She gave the three of us children the kind of ideal childhood she had not had for herself. When I started college she resumed her college education, given up years before when she got married. We were in classes together, but many people didn't know she was my mother because she promised me she would do her best not to intrude on my college experience. She loved school and graduated with honors. She took a job as the Executive Director of the Pocatello YWCA and, in that position, established an art center and the first battered women's shelter in the state. Both continue to operate to this day.
I am sad that she won't know Sofia. She adored babies and would have approved of Sofia's feistiness and outgoing personality. I strive to be the kind of grandmother she was. I sure miss her. The chickens are a poor substitute.
Me and Mom, probably saying, "look at Daddy and smile!"
P.S. This is post # 601. Wow.