What is wrong with stuff?

Published 7:18 pm Friday, September 9, 2022

A visiting mountain friend sighed and said, “You’ve got a lot of sssstuff.

She said “stuff” like it’s a bad thing.

I do have a lot of “stuff” but it’s not a bad thing.  Stuff stirs memories.

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Even my kitchen cabinets are stuffed with memories.

It has been said that no one is ever dead until no one speaks their name. Stuff is a reason names are spoken.

A simple relish dish stirs memories of Mr. Willie D. Colley who always had petunias blooming along the sidewalk in the spring and leaves burning in the fall. I bought the dish for a quarter at the estate sale after he died. I remember his name.

We had goats in the pasture behind our house. Pid and Edna Steed enjoyed feeding the goats, Miss Edna even baked biscuits for them. One of her biscuit pans is in my oven drawer.

There’s an age-old dish that a friend bought at a yard sale on our trip to the mountains. There were two dishes. We liked them both. She got one; I got the other. Years later, I came home to find “her” dish on the kitchen table.  She was killed in a car accident a short time later.

There’s a pig pitcher that Aunt Jeanette said reminded her of me. I don’t know exactly what she meant.

And, there are four aging tea cups with trains I bought them at Evelyn Parrish’s yard sale for a dollar each.  She decided I didn’t pay enough so her daughter Ima Jean brought my four dollars back and took the cups. Later, she brought the cups back and the four dollars.

There’s a barrel toothpick holder that lived on my granddaddy’s kitchen table and my grandmother’s butter mold is on the shelf. There’s the Tom’s Peanut glass jar that my friend Betty Kay retrieved from the old schoolhouse at Henderson.

Miss Mattie Hughes gave me a salt and pepper set, a hen and rooster, that she remembered being on her kitchen table when she was growing up.

The Shawnee pig shakers were on Aunt Eleanor’s kitchen table when I was growing up. The tin measuring cup and the whistln’ tea kettle were Mama’s; Daddy’s ink pen and his smoking pipes have special places.

There’s a watermelon plate made by Mr. Ed Walter and a cane striper of Mr. Grover Poole’s.

Bella the cow’s bell has its own place as does Uncle Willie’s tire store key. Dozens of other “sssstuff” is in the kitchen and, when I dust it, I speak their names.