Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The peddler's cup


It is quite an ordinary little item. One that you may pass a dozen or more times in my home and not even notice. It is rather small, and some may say it is rather nondescript. It sits on a table in my room along with several other things of its' kind. It is the peddler’s cup.

The story of the peddler’s cup began for me when I was a tiny girl. My great-aunt Gussie lived just across the road (in the woods) from my grandparents. She was my grandfather’s (oldest) sister and we all adored her. She was a tiny little person and always, always wore a smile when she saw any of us coming. She and her husband never had children of their own, so I like to think we were just a little more than special to her; at least she made us believe that we were. She was the epitome of femininity and was so old-fashioned and sweet. I don’t think I ever saw her without a handkerchief in her hand or visited her home without eating a slice of her famous pecan pie. Oh, how I loved to visit her home! I loved to wander among all the antiques, china and just touch all of the many beautiful things that she had. And I was absolutely enamored with …. The peddler’s cup. Everytime I visited I asked to touch it, hold it and hear its’ story. I never tired of it, and even today can hear her voice telling me the tale over and over again.

Around the years 1909/1910, when little miss Gussie was a wee girl, a peddler had a route through the country, and one of his stops was at the home of Waldo and Edna (my great- grandparents), and their children… Gussie, Geneva, Minnie Lee, John and Percy. Little Gussie and little Neva always became especially excited every time the peddler came, and loved to see all of his wares, tinctures, baubles and goods. The peddler was also especially fond of little Gussie with her dark hair, infectious smile and excitement every time he came to visit. Of all the “pretties” that the peddler carried on his cart there was one that little Gussie loved most of all. It was a tiny little teacup with a bird painted on it, and, oh, how she longed for that little cup. On one of his trips, she shyly told the peddler how much she adored the teacup, and on his next trip, he left a little package for Gussie. Nestled inside was the teacup and saucer. The little girl was thrilled, and counted it one of her greatest treasures all of her life. She loved it and took special care of it all of her growing up years, took it with her when she married and left home; and, wherever she went, set it in a special place in her home. Of all the many beautiful and much more expensive things that she collected over the years, I do believe this was one she loved the best.

On my 10th birthday, I, too was thrilled with a special surprise. The peddler’s cup was given to me by my precious Aunt Gussie. I, too, count it as one of my greatest treasures, and hope that one day another little girl I happen to know will be as thrilled with it as I was. That fragile little cup is coming up on its' 1ooth birthday soon. I only hope that I can evoke the same magic and wonder into that story as Aunt Gussie did. And I hope my little girl will treasure it as much as we have.

Happy Tuesday and
Much Love,
Jennifer


*** Aunt Gussie died when I was in high school. I now have other teacups and things that belonged to her. None of them mean anything near as much to me as that little cup does.

9 comments:

Jenny said...

Simply beautiful and written with such love. Your Aunt Gussie sounds a lot like my Aunt Beryl. Their houses were like museums weren't they? To have just one day with her at this point in my life would be such a gift.

Tammy said...

That is such a wonderful story, Jennifer! It was is so touching that you appreciate that cup the same way that your aunt Gussie did. Thank you for sharing that sweet story.

Dawn said...

What a charming story...

Amy said...

This post actually made me tear up :) What a lovely story!

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

What a wonderful story and memory...

Reminds me of the Standard Coffee Man who came around to my grandma's house selling coffee and other such stuff.

Life has changed so much, hasn't it?

Big Mama said...

Great, great story. I love that you have something so special that you can pass down to your daughter some day.

Copper's Wife said...

What a precious treasure from your aunt, and what a precious story!

lrlwreath said...

I absolutely love stories like this. My grandmother's tea cups were what was special to me...I have a few now. Thank you for this story.

Paula said...

What a wonderful story. I am glad you have that memory and can pass that on to your little girl!