Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The power of granite-ware

This picture made me think of my grandmother's granite bowls and cups that were scattered about in her kitchen when I was a young, frequent visitor. When I see granite-ware I have an overwhelming feeling of sadness, though. My grandmother's little, white clap-board house burned to the ground in 1976. No one was injured as my grandmother was staying down the road at her daughter's home because she had fallen and was recovering there. All that remained after the fire was one white and blue granite cup. It lay on the ground near the well that was just feet from the house. That was it. Everything I remember in that home was gone. As I type this I feel what I felt years ago; an overwhelming feeling of loss and the need to remember what her dishes, her cupboards, her dresser that was always tucked away in a corner and housed her beautiful jewellery, her pictures and all the antiques looked like. I wanted to remember every detail. I wanted to remember her tea-cups.

My grandmother had 20 grandchildren and many of us stayed for a week at a time in the summer when we were young. All the girls had a special tea-cup that only we would use when we were there. My grandmother introduced all of us to the art of drinking tea with milk and sugar.  Nothing ever tasted better with her toast made on the wood-stove and her home-made jam.

The summer kitchen had a floor to ceiling cupboard that had 4 shelves behind two wooden doors. Inside was a shelf full of tea-cups. Mine was red and had a dragon on it. I just thought it was beautiful. I probably drank 500 cups of tea from it before I decided I was too old to stay at granny's anymore. Now, I wish I had that little tea-cup because I think when I would look at it,  it would draw me back into that old kitchen and I could see all the details again. I could maybe see my grandmother sitting in her rocker with her cat, Maggie snuggled up in her apron. My grandmother, the kindest woman whose life was sketched on her face.

It is odd how the sight of one little granite cup can take me back to this kitchen where the memories ground me when I need it and always have.

Last May, I lost my cat Maggie, who I named after my grandmother's cat, to cancer. They didn't look at all alike as Maggie was a short-haired, brown tabby and my Maggie was a silver, tabby persian. Both these cats  brought true companionship & love to us. It was from watching the relationship between my grandmother and her Maggie that developed my love for cats. That I know for sure.

 1992 - 2010
I'll always miss this dear, sweet girl.
hugs, Deb


  1. what a beautiful legacy your grandma left you, her love of cats.

    Your memories of her granite ware were heartfelt and charming...the story about you drinking tea in that precious cup was just beautiful.
    You don't need the cup, it will remain in your heart forever, brimming over with the love of your grandma xoxo

  2. What a beautiful grandma you had and such sweet memories. I hope yours and mine are sharing tea and stories together as they sound so much alike. That was a wonderful thing she did for each of you. Wish simple things meant that much to folks nowadays. Your Maggie was a real beauty.Thanks for sharing a special part of your life. I would like that red and white kitchen for Christmas please lol!!!

  3. What a precious kitty Miss Maggie was! How could you not fall in love with her species?

  4. Wonderful memories! It is amazing how an item can transport you somewhere else with a flood of memories. Your Maggie was a beauty.

  5. This happens to me too..a little thing and then I am back to a sweet memory. Thanks for sharing about your wonderful grandmother, what a lady! Your Maggie ws a darlin for sure! :D