Wanna read the latest from Clever Magazine?
Click here and return to the coverpage!

The Heirloom

by Patricia Crandall


             After the swishing and sloshing of the dishwasher hissed to silence, I opened the door and removed a small stoneware jug from the steamy interior and patted it dry.

 “What’s wrong, Juliana? You ain’t movin’ a muscle.” Maybeth’s bossy old voice trilled. She had maneuvered behind me in her wheelchair.

            I was speechless.

Maybeth stretched and peered around my elbow. “That’s the hand painted jug with the Sweet Pea motif that’s been in my family since way back.” She stared over her eyeglasses. “What’s that stringy stuff hangin’ from it?”

It was my idea to go on a spring cleaning mission in Maybeth’s kitchen and place everything that was inside her china closet in the gentle cycle of the dishwasher. It was Maybeth’s idea that I hand wash the china and crockery, laying each piece on an embroidered linen dish towel to dry. I took a deep breath before I turned and held up shriveled scraps of plastic in one hand and the cream jug in the other.

“This is not a hand painted jug, Maybeth. I thought it was but it has a decal on it.” I swallowed hard. “It had a decal on it. I would never have put it in the dishwasher if I had known.”

It was impossible to look at Maybeth’s teary eyes and not be stricken. I babbled, “I’ll buy you a pottery jug from April’s Antiques. No decal – it will have a hand painted scene by a local artist – Will Moses? You know, Grandma Moses’ grandson. He’s a folk artist, too.”

Maybeth fidgeted with her homespun dress. “That jug was Grannie Blair’s heirloom. She poured real cream topped off milk in a glass bottle out of it every morning and soaked her oatmeal. If a decal was good enough for her, a decal on that jug will be good enough for me!” She closed her eyes and pressed the plain brown jug to her sagging bosom.

 “A Heliotrope or maybe a Petunia.” She sighed.

Find it here!     

Home | Contributors to Clever Magazine | Writers' Guidelines 
The Editor's Page | Humor Archive | About Clever Magazine | Contact Us

No portion of Clever Magazine may be copied or reprinted without express consent of the editor.