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Historical Novels -Bobi Andrews

Monday, July 16, 2012

Our Ancestors' Treasures

Minnie’s Gold-Trimmed Jade Green Jelly Dish

Way up on the very top shelf
Looking far to the back
You’ll find a jade green jelly dish,
With pioneer beauty it does not lack.

With its gold trimming around the edge
And its fancy goblet-looking shape and stem
It could pass for use for royalty feasts or banquets
Instead of being used “way back when.”

It doesn’t talk, or sputter an adventuresome word
Where did G’Ma and G’Pa Ellis get it and what did they pay?
I can’t imagine serving apple butter in this dish on the bumpy trail
But pioneers proved the impossible was possible—everyday.

Was it just waitin’ for delicious chokecherry jam?
Or the rhubarb preserves that Bobi wrote about?
Maybe the apple butter won out on the vote,
Whatever flavor, the dish must’ve carried “clout”!

I wonder what it thinks sitting in my modern kitchen
Complete with electricity, answering machine and microwave?
Is it glad it didn’t have a rough and tumble dishwasher to fight?
Did it sometime live in a primitive hut or cave?

No horrid swarms of grasshoppers! No snakes!
No stampeding buffalo to fight
Air conditioned comfort available both night and day,
Sharing this shelf with cake mixes and instant potatoes

Surely makes us wonder, “What would it have to say?”
To be sure, it would say, “I love when the family eats together,
I don’t see much of that any more.”
“Pass the strawberry jam,” repeated oft at dinner,

Would send “its heart” clear to the floor.
But, Time is a wonderful thing to enjoy each day,
And what we presently use will seem quite “adrift” too,
We’re glad you made it through.”

-- Rose Nuernberger 


This sugar bowl was handed down by Minnie Montgomery 
Ellis (1870-1940).  Written by Bobi Ellis Andrews, June, 2000,
who has the sugar bowl in her china cabinet.


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