Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grandma's Glasses~*

Operation Dumpster, Day 1 went off without a hitch.  Lots of work done, but lots more yet to do.  We are all a bit sore from hauling, but proud of what we've accomplished.  That said,  I sincerely doubt y'all want to see a picture of our job well done {the inside of a dumpster is not attractive at the best of times, & certainly far less so filled with our garbage}.  You're just gonna have to trust me on this one~*

So instead I'm gonna go in the opposite direction.  The dumpster is heavy, ugly, & partially filled with trash, so I'm gonna post about something delicate, beautiful & full of light.



When I was a kid, my Grandma had a large, built in display cabinet in her dining room.  All blonde wood & modern, with mirrored back & lights & glass shelves & sliding glass doors.  And inside, amongst the collectible commemorative dishes & porcelain trinkets from occupied Japan, she had these wonderful glasses.  Red wine, white wine, aperitif, parfait, champagne...every shape of stemware you can imagine {& more than a few you probably wouldn't think of}.  All done in paper thin crystal-- so thin it has an iridescence-- like a freshly blown bubble.  I was mesmerized by them. I literally could not imagine anything so fine as these glasses-- so brilliant & delicate & beautiful.



When I was older & on my own, Grandma gave the glasses to me-- the full set, every last gorgeous one of them.  Over the years a few of them broke-- either by accident while in use, or when moving them.  Once I put them on a freshly painted shelf & later, when I went to take one down, I realized too late they had stuck-- the one I went to grab pulled apart with the base stuck on the shelf & the glass & stem in my hand.  I felt like I beheaded it, & I was devastated.  I've been devastated every time one has broken-- the Things even joke about my "bubble glasses," & how in the event of a fire I would be running in & out of the inferno carrying my glasses two at a time. 



We do use them on very special occasions {the adults use them at Christmas, for example-- and Thing 1 got to use one at her graduation party} & I wash all of them by hand a few times a year to remove the dust & admire their delicate glow.  Several years ago, after Grandma had past away, I realized that one of the glasses still had a manufacturer's sticker barely readable on the bottom.  It was red & silver & well worn, but I could make out a name &  I thought maybe I would be able to find them, to replace the ones that had broken.  I can not adequately explain how thrilled I was-- the idea of being able to have more.  Sigh.   They were made by a Czechoslovakian company that apparently ceased to exist sometime in the 70's.  I was able to find out a bit about the glasses' origins though-- turns out, Grandma bought them at an early 1960's version of Pier One.  They aren't actually fine crystal, or at least, they weren't at the time they were purchased-- they were just, well, hip & trendy & relatively cheap &  for a fleeting moment in time.  The end result?  They can not be replaced.  Ever.

Which makes them even more bubble-like, if you think about it.

When we redid the kitchen, oh I guess its been 5 or 6 years ago now, we had new cabinets installed.  When you open the door that leads to the kitchen, the first thing you see is a set of cabinets.  I removed the doors on the upper cabinets & painted the inside a rich jewel toned purple.  That is where my bubble glasses live, in a cabinet devised just or them...



 

...in all their fragile, iridescent glory {& with a glass head from Pier One to watch over them...I thought it fitting}.


Thank you Grandma.  For the bubble glasses & the memories~*