Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I know one person born on Valentine’s Day. That’s Verda, my brother-in law’s mom. She would have been 93-years-old today.

A child of the 1930s, Verda was not wasteful. Rick, my brother-in-law, told me his mom would put three pans of water outside during the mornings of the summer months. 

“By noon the water was warm enough to wash up outside before coming in the house,” he said. They used homemade soap too.

I have a few of Verda’s things that Rick was gracious enough to give me. After his mother passed away in 1996, I wanted what I referred to as the Longhorn cattle mirror. It’s a square mirror set on a slant behind beveled glass with three curvy hat hooks on it.

the Longhorn cattle mirror

I had to beg a few times, but Rick finally let me have Verda's mirror. It's right inside the door to my house. It's where I hang my keys, the dog leashes, and my hats. It's where I take one last peak of myself before I start leave. I use it every day. I think Verda would like that.

Another piece I have is her magazine rack end table with a narrow drawer and a slot for blankets underneath. It's the end table on my side of our couch. Just like the mirror, I use it every day. Lexy, my first wiener dog, loved that table. She'd stand on it and look out the window—that's why the top is all scratched up. Verda wouldn't like that.

the end table Lexy loved

I have an old coffee grinder too that hangs on the wall, and when my green thumb is in the mood to attend to houseplants, I keep a small potted philodendron in it. Rick gave me a couple of her crocks and two of those tan bowls with red apples and green leaves on it. I've seen those at the antique stores. They're worth something. Mine holds a potted plant.

clockwise: Verda's bowl, coffee ginder, glass jar, and flower pot

Another one of Verda’s flower pots used to be part of my welcome piece at my front door. It was a beautiful green and mauve colored flower pot. Last year I poured leftover water in it, then it froze busting the pot into many pieces. It broke my heart too. I really liked that pot.

There’s one more thing of Verda’s in my house: a tiny glass jar with an unusual shape. It gets wider at the bottom. Maybe it was a mustard jar. It holds a few utensils near my reading, writing, and devotional spot in my bedroom. Like the mirror, I use it every day.

Verda & husband Andrew

As a little girl, I knew Verda as the woman who’d serve me a treat I loved—apple schnitz, dried sour apple. One year for Christmas she gave me my own batch of it. I think she'd be thrilled to know that some of her things stayed in the family and are still used today.

What items do you use often that help you treasure the memory of a person who is now gone?


  1. I love this post, Melodie. I love antiques, and I enjoy wondering about the people who owned them before me. Items are so symbolic of the lives they touch. Thanks for sharing your pictures. Liz S.

    1. Thanks, Liz. I agree about the symbolism part. It's tricky for me to write about it and not seem like I'm valuing the things over people. It is where they came from that touches me.

      When I first got married, we accidentally broke an old telephone end table (an L-shaped thing with two little shelves in the back to tuck a phone under and a phone book with an elongated front part for setting stuff) that an elderly neighbor lady gave me when she got new furniture. That broke my heart too!