I remember being at my grandmother’s house when I was a little girl and looking at her china cabinets full of different collectables. There was a collection I always focused on, even as a small child. My “Nan” had the most amazing etched glass and I remember how fragile and intricate it looked and how it evoked something in me. At the time, I wasn’t sure what that emotion was, but even as a child I felt an instant pull to the beauty of it. And so began the love affair…
My grandmother did not spend a lot of money on worldly possessions, one of the many traits I wish I would have inherited. She was frugal; having lived through the great depression she took nothing for granted. However, she would pick up whatever spoke to her at various garage sales throughout her life and she always knew a valued collectable when she saw it. No matter what she would buy, my focus always returned to the etched glass pieces in her cabinet. I believe they were her mothers and the sense of romanticism they displayed always kept me longing to touch them. I was fortunate enough that she would let me look in the cabinets and hold the whatever I wanted. Nothing was off limits.
A few months before her passing, she told me to take whatever I wanted from her cabinets. A part of me felt uncomfortable with her request but you have to understand what a giving woman she was. This was nothing out of the ordinary. Whenever I would visit, she always wanted to give me something, food, ice cream, cookies,…china. We had a beautiful , close relationship. After several other visits and her insistence that I take something home, I chose the etched glass pieces. These pieces remain in my cabinet, still untouched as they were in my grandmother’s home. There is part of me that is deathly afraid of something happening to them so I keep them under lock and key. But there’s another part of me that can’t wait to use them one day at one of my daughter’s bridal showers.
To this day whenever I see etched glass, my heart stops. The beauty, the femininity, and the nostalgia always resurfaces with every piece I see.
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