That candy dish came to our house when my grandmother moved in with us. I thought it was the most hideous thing ever. There was a mosaic tiled tray that didn’t go with it but managed to fit into the hideous theme that apparently my mother was going for. The green on it was the same color as my grandmother’s green velvet couch, two pieces that separated. When she moved in one half of it went into the basement where I wouold lie down on it, legs over the arm watching baseball and eventually the US hockey team beat the Russians.
Looking at the dish now, I don’t know what it was that I didn’t like. I love the shine of the green even under the specks of dust. The colored tiles seem like painted slate. Someone worked very hard on that art. When I pulled it out of the bookkshelf, I started thnking about where I might put it in my office instead of keeping it safe behind glass. Perhaps put it in my mother’s curio with her rabbi and upside down ashtray that makes him taller.
I also wonder how my grandmother came to have this piece. Was it a wedding gift? It’s proably not old enough for that. I don’t recall her ever going to Israel like other family members did on my mother’s side.
Maybe it was her new authority in our house that I transferred to her stuff. She lived with us now. She became mean, like a third parent, telling us when to be home, to wash our hands before dinner, you know, usual kid complaining stuff. I could have been better.
Maybe it’s true that we mature as we age, and despite not liking this candy dish as a kid, now that I’m older, I appreciate the fine work that went into it; the distance it traveled to come into my household, and wanting and asking for it when my mother died.
My kids have a better appreciation for their grandparents’ things. They appreciate where they came from and the lives that they lived as kids and young adults. They’ve each had the opportunity to interview my mother-in-law for biographical reports for school and so they talk about her and her experirences often. I wish I was more like them when I was a kid.