The Jello Molds…

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.

Late Summer, Fall 2013 388

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.

Published in: on November 19, 2013 at 9:02 am  Comments (6)  
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Buster, The Cookie Jar…

10-14-2011 3;22;59 PM20Christmas, 1970 – Ed’s family (and “Buster”) at my parents’ house

After Ed’s mom passed away, Ed asked me if there was anything in her house I would like to have.  Without hesitation, I answered, “Buster”.  Buster is only a cookie jar, but his family ties go way back.

It all began back in 1970, when Ed was in the army, and had been sent overseas for an eighteen month tour of duty.  I was still living at home, with my parents, finishing up my last two years of high school.  Ed and I had recently become engaged just before he left for Okinawa.

By the time Ed and I became engaged, our parents had already become good friends.  Christmas was coming, and my parents wanted to give Ed’s parents a gift.  Sort of as a joke, my parents settled on a cookie jar, in the shape of a semi-bald priest, who happened to be wearing a brown robe.  On the front of the semi-bald priest’s  brown robe were the words, “Thou Shalt Not Steal”!

Ed’s dad had a good sense of humor, and laughed when he opened the cookie jar!  Then Ed’s daddy proclaimed that the priest looked just like Buster Rogers, a member of their church!  From that day forward, the cookie jar became simply known as “Buster”.  (Note: The photo at the top of this post was taken, then sent to Ed, who was in Okinawa.  The large red dog in the photo was my Christmas gift from Ed’s parents, and I loved it!)

Buster quickly took up residence on the counter of Ed’s parent’s kitchen.  His place of honor was in the far-left corner, and for almost forty-three years, Buster never moved!  From his counter perch, Buster ‘watched’ many meals being prepared and served throughout the years.  My parents were present at many of those meals, too.  Each time my parents were present, without fail, somebody would look over at  Buster, sitting on the counter, and laugh about the Christmas when he joined the family!

One, little-known fact about “Buster” was that he never held any cookies inside of him!  Ed’s daddy used Buster for collecting pennies.  At the time of Ed’s daddy’s death,  Buster, the cookie jar, was over-flowing with pennies!  Twelve and one-half years later, those pennies were still inside of Buster on the day Ed brought him to live at our house.

Ed and I are the last remaining family members who lived through ‘the Buster era’.  All of our parents are gone now, and “Buster’s” namesake passed many years ago, as well.  Buster is still able to bring a smile to my face when I remember all of the good times he ‘saw’, but sometimes “Buster” makes me a bit sad, too.  It was very sad having to remove him from his former home.

“Buster’s” sort of like me.  He’s not young and vibrant like he once was.  His paint has become old and dark, over time.  He probably could use a real good scrubbing, but we don’t dare, out of fear of messing up his paint!  I love Buster anyway, and gave him a new place of honor, on the top of my curio cabinet.  There, he sits way up high, safe from any harm.


These days, Buster continues to watch over a new generation of family gatherings from his new perch.  He, also, continues to watch over most the ‘stash’ that Ed’s daddy put inside of him, so many years ago!  Because Buster was filled to overflowing, we had to remove some of the pennies, but we still have them.

Welcome to your new home, “Buster”!  I hope someone else in our family will give you a new home, one day,whenever the time comes, but I hope that won’t be for a long, long time.

Published in: on November 12, 2013 at 10:01 am  Comments (4)  
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