A Woman's Voice

THE COOKIE JAR –October 4, 2010 by Rosewood Jannie

Posted in MEMORY LANE by doloresayotte on October 4, 2010
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I grew up in the 50’s..
It was a big old house that used to be a dance hall. I suspect it was a lively place during prohibition. My father worked on it to make it the home I remember. Nothing fancy..but homey and practical. Back off the road a half mile..it was quiet and wonderful. It was a house of sameness. My dad went to work..carrying the same black lunch box with the same tuna sandwich..wearing a plaid shirt and khaki pants that my mom dried on pants stretchers..When he came home..he always had a Tootsie Pop in his pocket for me..Always the same..

My mom cooked and cleaned and ironed..
She washed clothes in the same wringer washer..always starting with the white clothes..working her way down to the dark clothes. We hung the “good clothes” on the clothes lines and the wash rags on the barbed wire that corralled the cows. It hadn’t occurred to me to until yesterday..we never called them wash clothes..I guess because they really were rags, we’d had them so long.

The living room was big and open. We had Cellotex on the upper part of the walls and paneling on the bottom. As a teenager..I would doodle in the Cellotex with my fingernails as I talked on the phone….much to my father’s dismay.

There was a Burgundy couch..with a chenille fabric on it. I can still feel it. The pattern shifted under my fingers…stiff and prickly..There were the same …end tables…two shelves..mahogany in color all the years I lived there…

The same picture..a bird picture…white Herons..with little mirrors all around the edge.

The floor was green…green plumbs with touches of pink. I remember sitting on my bottom..scooting along with wax and cloths to polish it…

Our kitchen was yellow…always yellow. We had a Yellow cracked ice..Formica table..with yellow Naugahyde chairs with a swirly black pattern in them. In the north corner of the room…stood the Dish cupboard. It was always called The Dish Cupboard..and always held all our dishes. Multi-colored Fiestaware. How funny..now it’s trendy and expensive..to us..they were just the dishes..

On the dish cupboard..stood one of the most revered items of my childhood. The Cookie Jar. It was white satin glass. The lid had a black stripe around it..and so did the jar. There were little peachy flowers and green leaves painted on the side of the jar. I should say..the remnants of painted flowers. After years of washings..they had begun to fade..

It had been a gift to my parents when they got married. I wasn’t told to be careful with it..I didn’t have to be told. Everything my parents had..was purchased with hard work and cared for because we knew things couldn’t be easily replaced.

When I was old enough to retrieve a cookie on my own..I lifted the lid carefully and sat it down on the dish cupboard. I’d run my hand down into the jar…get my cookie and with the uttermost care…gently replace the lid.

In this home of sameness…the cookie jar sat on the right side of the dish cupboard..that sat in the northeast corner of the kitchen..for 31 years..

Day in day out…the sameness was peaceful and comforting.

In 1972…the peace and the sameness of my birthplace..had become a place of strife for my parents. The land around them was being sold for development and they were being landlocked by the developers. My mom reminded me of a pioneer woman. Fighting daily for her rights..not allowing them to block the road.

After month of this..the developer approached my parents with an offer to buy them out. The home..with it’s peaceful sameness..would never be the same. So they sold.

All the things that had been in the same place..were cast out..My parents felt as if they were rich, after struggling all those years. New furniture..new towels..new wash clothes..new lamps..new couch..a new life..

The only piece of furniture that made it to the new house…was the dish cupboard.

As they were settling in..I was putting the dishes into the dish cupboard. Unwrapped the plates…the cups…the Bauer bowls…I felt a comfort in the sameness of this small thing. Emptied box after box. As I stood back to look at my handy work..I realized the Cookie Jar was not in its usual place. I looked around for it…asked my mom.

“Oh..that old thing…I got a new one..its the red strawberry on the kitchen counter” she said.

I asked..”Where’s the one I grew up with?”

“We left that in the old house” she said casually, continuing to unpack.

If ever I felt sick and bewildered at something my mom did..this was it. I threw my stuff into my car and drove back to the old house.

I hadn’t been there in days..When I’d left..it was orderly and neat. My dad was sure..since it was such a wonderful historic old place..the developer would build around it.

When I walked up..my heart sank. The vandals had broken in. The windows were smashed..the ceilings were hanging down in many places..The beautiful woodwork my dad had made with his own hands..was smashed and ruined..

In the rubble that had been my home…I looked frantically for the Cookie Jar. Under all the mess that had been the happy kitchen where I spent my childhood..sitting at the table..watching the cows in the pasture right outside the kitchen window…I pawed frantically…tossing aside broken drawers ..parts of the counter, all the while trying not to get cut on the glass strewn about the room.

I never saw the cookie jar..or pieces of it. I looked for hours..I gave up and never mentioned it to my mom.
It was so hard not to be upset with at her. After all those years… How could she not know that all of us loved that jar?

Fast forward…

My mom is now in a nursing home. I live in the little house that was hers..giving my larger house to my daughter and her family.

In the corner of my dining room..is my most prized possession. The dish cupboard. It holds all my dishes…just as it held my mothers..The platters and big bowls on the bottom..the plates and cups on the upper shelves.

There’s sameness to it..a comfort. My grandmother had her dishes in it…my mother had hers in it..and I have followed. Still…there was always something missing. When I look at it..in my minds eye..I could see the white satin jar..with the black stripes and faded peachy flowers..

Today….after 38 years…they were reunited. The Dish Cupboard…with it’s comforting sameness…and on the right corner…sits a white satin Cookie jar..with it’s faded flowers and little black stripes..

On a whim…after searching..and never seeing the cookie jar..I typed in Satin jar on Ebay…Half way down the page…up pops…the Cookie Jar. I sat back in my desk chair..almost afraid to breathe..like it would disappear. I bid on it…and today..wrapped like the Holy Grail…it arrived. I cried as I unwrapped it.

It was in the Estate sale of a couple my parents age…Someone in their family had let it go. While I’m sad they didn’t love it..like I loved ours..This one will always be on the right corner of the dish cupboard…for as long as I live..  

Oh my, what a lovely trip down memory lane. I am so grateful you shared it with us and I am very happy you found such a treasure (The Cookie Jar) to put on top of your beautiful dish cupboard.


15 Responses to 'THE COOKIE JAR –October 4, 2010 by Rosewood Jannie'

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  1. janie Wilkins said,

    I loved reading about the cookie jar!
    Blessings from Florida!
    Janie Wilkins

  2. Laura Davis said,

    Thank you for sharing that. It reminded me of something similar that my mother did when I was 12. I had a huge collection of Barbie Dolls (even the original one with the black and white swimsuit). I saved them all and took great care with them, intending to give them to my daughter one day. Until I came home from school and found my mother had given them all away! In fact, she gave away all my toys, without asking me or telling me. I understand your anger with your mom and I’m so glad you got your cookie jar back!

  3. Shirley Sarafinchan said,

    I really enjoyed your story about the cookie jar and can well understand how important it was to have it in your life and on your dish cupboard. Beautiful memories, thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Kathy Eberly said,

    Thank you so much for sharing about the cookie jar. While I don’t have a “cookie jar”, I do have other memories of growing up and spending time with my loved ones. Thank you so much for your heart warming story!

  5. Audra Krell said,

    Great writing and fantastic memories. My heart was beating so fast as you pawed through the wreckage, I cannot believe you couldn’t find it! So glad you have one now, right in the perfect place.

  6. Barb Newman said,

    Lovely writing and lovely memories.You paited a picture in my mind of your childhood home..Thanks for sharing!

  7. Ginny Hamlin said,

    This would make a great book, I’d buy it! I enjoy your vivid imagery. What are you working on? I’d like to read one of your novels. 😉

  8. Ginny Hamlin said,

    I’m not sure what happened to my comment. I submitted it to post, but it disappeared. LOL. Here we go again…I apologize if it appears twice.

    I said, I enjoy your vivid imagery. I would buy this if it were a novel. What are you working on? I’d enjoy reading one of your books. 😉

  9. Sarah said,

    what great story. I got so caught up in reading this. Absolutely loved it. ☺

  10. Really enjoyed reading this. Pieces of our lives, little things that mean so much. Glad you were able to replace that missing piece in yours. I can just imagine that red strawberry one taking its place. I had a red strawberry one that was cheap made and came from the Dollar Store. Somehow, it just never really made a good cookie jar. I’ve had others I liked more. The paint chipped on it easily, and I soon got rid of it 🙂 Now, I really loved my red strawberry hummingbird feeder though, but now I get no hummingbirds.

  11. Rita Garcia said,

    I love this story! God is so good to His children!! Congratulations on finding this little piece of history that mean so much!!!

    • I would like to thank all of you for your wonderful comments on “The Cookie Jar”. I appreciate each and every one of you! 🙂

  12. hope_rising said,

    I LOVE this story. We had a cookie jar too! It was in the shape of capser the friendly ghost. My sister has it in her kitchen now and I love walking in and seeing it. You are so right, there are those iconic items from our childhood that we held so precisous.

    I am so glad you were able to get your cooking jar back and on your dish rack. I can just imagine how awesome it is to look at that!

    thanks for this great story

  13. Great memories! Thanks for sharing about the Cookie Jar! Loved it!
    Janet http://www.justacloserstumble.blogspot.com

    • Janet…welcome to A Woman’s Voice. Thanks for stopping by and for your comments too!

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