Ed is continuing to slowly work his way through the details of handling his mother’s estate. Recently, when Ed asked me which things I would like to have, out of his parents’ house, my first answer was, “Buster, the cookie jar.” My second answer was, “Your mother’s set of jello molds.”
When I first met my husband, Ed, those jello molds were hanging on the wall of his mother’s kitchen. I was always intrigued by the molds, since only one other person that I knew had any. (Back then, to me, jello molds were a symbol of prosperity! Ha!) One day I asked Ed’s mom where she got her jello molds. My future mother-in-law proceeded to explain where her jello molds came from and how she got them.
Many years ago, one of our town’s more prominent citizens built a home furnishing store in our little town (appropriately named, Dream Home Furnishings). Charlie was a shrewd business man, which earned him the nickname of “Cheatin’ Charlie”. Did I mention that Charlie was also our city mayor, one time? Or that he built the first set of apartments ever located in our little town , known as Dream Home Apartments?
One day, Ed’s parents were in need of a new appliance. ( I believe it was a refrigerator or a washing machine.) While Ed’s parents were at the home furnishing store, haggling with Charlie over the price of the appliance, Charlie offered to throw in a set of jello molds, as a bonus. Ed’s daddy bought the new appliance, and Ed’s mother became the proud new owner of five shiny jello molds.
Ed’s mother hung her new jello molds over her kitchen sink, and they hung there for many years. Just like “Buster the Cookie Jar”, the jello molds were present for many great family meals around the kitchen table! I can still remember admiring those shiny copper molds, as I sat, eating meals with Ed and his family.
Some years later, Ed’s daddy built a second, new kitchen onto the back of their house, and the molds were then moved to the new kitchen. They hung in their new place of honor for close to thirty years, and I continued to admire them. As far as I know, the molds were never used for making jello or jello salad.
A little over a month ago, Ed removed the jello molds from the wall of his parents’ kitchen and brought them home to me. The old molds were sort of like “Buster”– soiled and a bit fragile. Ed gently cleaned the molds, then promptly hung them in their new place of honor on my kitchen wall. They fit perfectly in the space I’d chosen for them!
I think of my dear mother-in-law every time I look at her jello molds, and I remember all the good times we used to have in her kitchen. Throughout forty-three years, I never once dreamed that, one day, I’d have those jello molds hanging in my kitchen. I thought they’d hang in Vivian’s kitchen forever, but, alas, time has a way of changing things.
If you look closely at this picture of my daughter (on her birthday), you will notice five jello molds hanging on the wall. The molds are hanging in their new place of honor– over the ‘picture’ window in my kitchen. I’ll always treasure them, just like I treasure the fond memories of my mother-in-law.