My Heirloom Eggs
Those are my paternal grandparents. My grandmother was Scottish, from Nova Scotia, and my grandfather, who I never met was Sicilian.
When I think of my grandmother and the things she left me, I could say it was her love for art. She left me the love of reading, drawing, painting, writing, but most of all her love of decorative eggs.
Even though my grandmother did it all, she was most famous in our family for her amazing skill of placing a complete story inside an egg. Those eggs, that I speak of were small regular eggs, ostrich eggs, and even other medium sized eggs. She would cut an oval shaped window in them and begin her story. She had all of these little people, animals, scenery items, and she’d just go to town with them.
I never saw her make them, and it was all a mystery to me, but it was her solace –hobby. And I’m sure that when she made an egg, planned out the scenery and story, she thought about the recipient and how it fit them. She made them with a lot of love and care. Not just anyone received an egg. You had to be special –family.
My dad has a few that she made to sit in a stand for display all year round and there were very few of those. I hope to get those someday. But the majority were made as ornaments to place on a Christmas tree so we only get to see them for about two weeks every year.
Growing up she’d make one for the four grandkids and gave them to us as gifts, and we never got to see them again. Our parents would put them away because they were too fragile for our small careless hands. Well, after she passed away, and many many years later when I was much older and more responsible, my father gave me a huge container that had all of his eggs carefully wrapped inside.
I felt like I was special, like I won the grand prize, because after all those years not only could I touch the eggs but they were mine to cherish. So every Christmas as the tradition now goes in my house … my kids and husband help me with the tree and then the eggs come out. We spend the rest of the night carefully removing each one from it’s wrapping and begin the tales we’ve made up about the scenery inside.
The first egg we pull out may be the one with the horse hanging it’s head out of the egg as if it was his stable. On the wooden gate of the stall, a name placard displaying “Edith,” which was my grandmother’s name, identified the horse. The outer shell of the egg was painted a chocolate brown and the inside was laced with hay and a water bucket. The horse’s head was attached to it’s body as it was a plastic toy horse. It was beautiful, and I wonder when she made it and what she was thinking, because after she died my father was able to buy a ranch with horses in New Mexico. Did she know? Did she make that for him?
The next could be the ice skating rink. The outer shell sprinkled with white sparkly glitter that looked like snow, and the inside too. She put a small mirror on the floor of the egg to emulate an ice rink. Three sets of figurines skating around the rink wrapped in warm winter clothes set the scene of a wonderful winter night.
For her birthday one year, late in her age, she made party favors. These were the smallest eggs she had made yet. Each egg’s window was outlined with beautiful, colorful ribbon. Inside right at the entrance sat a small teddy bear with a party hat on. She wrote the details of her party on the egg shell, and gave one to each of the guests.
I have about fifty of those beautiful eggs each with a different scene and story and I enjoy sharing those with my children. My youngest helps me scope out places on the tree because he’s not old enough to touch them yet. But we share in the experience together.
That’s all I have of her except the love of the arts that she passed on to me. I may look like her and as my dad has told me many times, act like her, but I never feel closer as to her as I do when I’m reliving the stories in those eggs.
This story is part of the Weekly Writing Challenge
Here are some other posts that participated in the My Favorite Things Weekly Challenge: