I have a story to share that I couldn't share for quite some time. Now I can; actually, I could have told this story a couple of months ago, but just haven't found the time to do so. Back in January our daughter Joanna and family were visiting us from out West. One afternoon, she and I (and her children -- the husbands were doing something else) got together for a tea party with five other ladies and assorted children, at my daughter Carrie's home. It was really nice; Carrie had set up a separate table for the children in the living room and we ladies sat at the table. One lady brought flowering plants to decorate the table; a lovely touch of spring in midwinter.
Well, when we got to dessert, it became apparent that the tea party was also a birthday party -- a surprise one -- for me! (The flowering plants were one of my gifts.) Two of my friends ( a mother and daughter) gave me a gift bag that was quite heavy. It contained a quart jar of homemade dill pickles
-- one of my favorite things! and also a gorgeous pitcher, both swaddled in tissue paper. As you know, I collect strawberry items.
This pitcher, the Large Jug in the Portmeirion Eden Fruits pattern,
would be a fantastic addition to my collection! Here's how Portmeirion describes this pattern:
"Using rich colors and modern shapes, the Eden Fruits pattern is lively and cheerful ... not to mention mouth watering! With luscious oversized fruits and joyful colors, Eden Fruits is sure to become a favorite for the table."
When we left that day, I made sure the pickles and pitcher were well wrapped in their tissue paper inside the gift bag. The driveways were icy, and I stepped very carefully as I went from Carrie's house to the car, and then again from the car to my own house. I set the bag down inside the entry with a sigh of relief. And then, conscious that 2-year-old Emily and 3-year-old Darrin would be coming in right after me, I picked the gift bag up again and set it carefully on the dining room table.
Not far enough from the edge, however. As I turned my attention to supper and other matters that needed doing, Darrin decided that I needed to have my gift! Before I could do more than utter a despairing shriek, he had pulled it off the table. Being much heavier than he expected, it tumbled to the floor.
Where, as one might expect, the heavy glass pickle jar smashed the pitcher to bits. (Thankfully, the pickles were unharmed -- can you imagine the aroma of pickle juice pervading everything if that jar had broken?) I managed to shed only a few tears. It was so pretty, and I hadn't even gotten to display it yet, never mind use it! But I reminded myself that it was only a thing, after all -- nothing of eternal value. How would I ever tell my friends, though?
Joanna set about searching for an affordable replacement -- we knew where it had been purchased, but there were no more there. We looked in other stores in the same chain -- no success. Finally Joanna suggested I try using the pieces to make a mosaic. So I kept them, still in the gift bag.
When I told my friend Judy what had happened, she made me an Artist Trading Card as a reminder. Isn't it pretty?
Fast-forward to a couple of months ago. One Saturday afternoon, UPS arrived with a large box. I hadn't ordered anything, and it was no special occasion that I knew of. When I opened the box, there it was. One Eden Fruits strawberry pitcher, and a card reading, "Happy Birthday again, Mom!" Joanna had found one on eBay and had it sent to me. Here it is happily in place on a shelf with some of my other strawberry items.
... And now I can tell my friends what really happened. What a happy ending!