A Cupful of Love

After my grandfather passed away in 2007 family members gathered at his home to sort through memories and belongings and keepsakes. My grandmother had preceded her husband in death, 17 years before. As my mother and aunt set aside the items they wanted to keep, they allowed my sisters and me to claim some small mementos for ourselves.

I knew what I wanted, and rummaged through kitchen cupboards to find it. Lost among bowls and mismatched glasses and countless plastic containers, I found what I was searching for. The old aluminum measuring cup was a bit scratched and dented and had not been used in many years. That did not matter to me. No one else wanted it and my family allowed me to claim it. I was thrilled.

A Cupful of Love

My grandfather, Pop, taught me about gardening. My Grandma Mildred taught me two things…how to crochet and how to bake. I have such fond memories of standing on a chair in her homey kitchen, an apron wrapped around me, watching carefully as Grandma prepared a cake from scratch or whipped up a cream pie or stirred together a batch of gooey chocolate chip cookies.

When I was young, I was given the important job of measuring out ingredients such as sugar, flour and Crisco shortening. Grandma would plunk down that metal cup and her big old aluminum shifter and I would get to work. It was so satisfying to measure out the ingredients and magical to my young and curious self, to see flour and sugar and eggs and shortening combine and become something more, something beyond what they could be alone.

A Cupful of Love

Those times spent with my grandmother in her kitchen created a lifelong desire to cook and be creative with food. Grandma Mildred was patient with me, answering my questions and not minding if a bit of eggshell got mixed in with the cookie dough. She laughed often, told stories about being on the farm and taught me that a good cook cleans up her mess after the fun is done.

That measuring cup become more to me that a kitchen tool. I loved to drink out of it, although being aluminum, that probably wasn’t the best of ideas! I liked how cold the outside of the cup got when I filled it with chunks of ice. It made a great container to eat chocolate chips out of, mix flour and water in to make paste for craft projects, and to hold a stash of sharpened pencils ready for my young artist’s hands.

The cup came to represent my grandmother and my childhood. It represented love. I am grateful to have it.

A Cupful of Love

I’ve owned the measuring cup for 11 years now, and I have not really known what to do with it, beyond storing it in my own kitchen cupboard. Because it is made from aluminum, I do not use it to measure out ingredients. And at this stage in my journey, I no longer use refined sugar or white flour or shortening in my cooking.

However, this past week I discovered another use for the priceless cup. Earlier this year I located and purchased a children’s book, in two different versions, that was significant to me when I was a toddler. You can read about A Penny for Candy HERE. In honor of the book, I’ve been collecting pennies that I find on the ground. In the story, the children use their found pennies to buy candy. I figured when I had collected enough pennies I’d purchase a lottery ticket. I’m not actually very good at finding money on the ground, primarily because I rarely look down as I walk. So my stash is small, but growing.

I’ve wondered what to use to hold my penny collection. Now I know. The measuring cup is the perfect receptacle for the coins. I estimate it can easily hold 100 pennies, which would add up to a dollar. And there’s a triple connection to my grandmother. She owned the cup. I have wonderful loving memories of laughing and cooking in her kitchen when I look at the cup. And, the story goes, when you find a penny on the ground, it is a “penny from heaven” placed there by a loved one who has passed away.

I think about the cup as a pennies from heaven holder, and my perspective shifts. Beyond picking up coins to save for a lottery ticket, this has now become a new game to play, between my grandmother and me. I found a penny today and I loved the sound it made as I dropped it into the metal cup. I suspect I’ll find more pennies now and when the cup is full, I’ll ask my grandmother what she wants to do with them. I can hear her amused chuckle already.

A Cupful of Love

Grandma & Grandpa’s Shed

Back in 1977, the summer after Greg and I were married, we were visiting with his grandparents. They lived just down the road from us south of the tiny town of Noel, Missouri. I don’t remember the exact conversation, however two things contributed to what happened next.

I expressed an appreciation for vintage items and, being newlyweds, Greg’s grandmother was aware that we could use some household items. She gestured down the hill to the old shed and told us to help ourselves to anything in there. It was full of stuff she no longer used or wanted. “Just watch out for spiders!” she called out as we made our way to the old structure.

Grandma and Grandpa’s Shed

The shed’s dusty interior was indeed crammed full of a variety of fascinating items. What I wouldn’t give to see all the contents again. Now I would hire a truck and load it all up. Back then I was a bit shy about accepting gifts that were offered to me. On that afternoon, I eyed everything with a practical eye. What could I actually use?

Greg and I spent a happy afternoon, sorting through items in the shed. There were spiders, poisonous brown recluses that can inflict a nasty bite. We tried to ignore them, hoping they would do the same to us. I hauled out items that caught my eye, either because of usability or beauty or both. We received a final approval from Grandma Ruby and Grandpa Bill before we loaded up the car. They waved us on, chuckling over some of my choices.

I still have those items, 40 years later. Many of them are used on a daily basis. The rest are on display or have been repurposed in my backyard garden.

Grandma and Grandpa’s Shed

Many of the items I selected were destined for my kitchen. The blue and white enamelware colander gets used so often, draining cooked gluten free pasta or vegetables, that I almost forgot to retrieve it from the dish drainer, to include in tonight’s display. I also use the colander when I pick veggies from my garden and to hold washed veggies as they dry.

Grandma and Grandpa’s Shed

I don’t use the vintage ceramic pie plate much anymore, although I make a raw blueberry pie with a cashew and date crust in it occasionally. The colorful plates are from Bauer Pottery in California, and were made in the mid 1950s.

Grandma and Grandpa’s Shed

Grandma and Grandpa’s Shed

I used the cut glass silverware holder and the small white ceramic toothpick holder when my kids were younger. Both are display items now. And the tiny wooden butter mold is a keepsake as well. The vintage glass pitchers are frequently used. Years ago they held juice or lemonade or black cherry kool-aid. For months after acquiring the pitchers, Greg or I would pick up packets of black cherry flavored kool-aid from the store. I thought it was his favorite flavor, because he always bought it. And he thought it was mine, for the same reason. Finally one day we both admitted that neither of us liked black cherry kool-aid! We never purchased it again, thankfully. Today those pitchers hold ginger water or lemon water.

Grandma and Grandpa’s Shed

Grandma and Grandpa’s Shed

The old glass canning jars with side wires were made in the 1920s – 1930s, before metal ring lids were common. I’ve used them to hold a variety of dry goods or tea light candles. Greg was able to figure out the age of the Ball jar by the style of the lettering. And the vintage milk bottle and cream bottle still have their original cardboard toppers.

Grandpa Bill worked as a milk delivery man when he was a newlywed and living in Kansas City about 1918. He drove a horse drawn wagon, filled with his customers’ milk orders. He used to tell the story that he would hop out of the wagon to drop bottles of milk on doorsteps and his horse, who knew the route well, would walk on around the corner and wait patiently for him there. Grandma Ruby laughed at me for wanting those bottles…but those old containers are now 100 years old, and I love the story that they represent. These items are for display only.

Grandma and Grandpa’s Shed

This afternoon, as I thought about these items, in preparation for writing this post, I realized that these were “wedding gifts”, of the most precious kind, for a young couple who didn’t have much. I’d rather have an old item, even one that is practical, that has a story attached to it, than something new from the store.

Which made me wonder…what did Grandma and Grandpa Moore give us as an actual wedding gift? Money? Dishes? Oh, I remember…they bought us a bed, with a nice set of mattresses. And then I remembered something else. Grandma Ruby made us a tablecloth, for our little second hand dining table that I repainted. Greg reupholstered the chairs. Ironically, my grandmother made us a tablecloth too as a wedding gift, and she was the one who gave us the dining set. I rummaged through my storage chest upstairs, another vintage piece that I will write about soon, and I found both tablecloths.

I haven’t used the tablecloths in many years, but they are still in great shape. The one from Grandma Ruby became the backdrop for the vintage pieces tonight. I can hear that beautiful and grand woman laughing with amusement over my display of items from her old shed, resting on a now vintage tablecloth that she lovingly made. She would be so pleased to know I’ve kept it all. These pieces give me pleasure as well.

Grandma and Grandpa’s Shed

Hand Décor

If you Google the words “hand décor” you get images of hands…in different poses, made from various materials. They are artistic, for sure. However, years ago the words were used to designate that an art piece was made “by hand”. Often those very words were written across the backing board on a framed work of art or a pottery base, along with the artist’s name and a date.

My feature items tonight, for a Vintage Story, are two hand décor pieces that I have hanging together, although they are very different styles of art. These pieces came from the home of Greg’s parents, after Bob passed away and the house was being readied to sell. I call them the Butterfly and the Rooster.

Hand Décor

Because they came from the Moore’s home in Arkansas, I thought both pieces were made by Greg’s mother, Leta. This sweet and endearing woman possessed a very artistic soul. She was always creating something. Having watched her complete many needlework or crochet projects over the years, it has been my honor and my privilege to bring Leta’s art into my home.

Hand Décor

I witnessed the creation of the crewel embroidery butterfly. The date written on the back is 1985, well after I joined the family. I have several embroidery pieces made by Leta. She seemed to enjoy this kind of detailed, intricate work. Crewel embroidery uses a heavier wool thread, creating a nice textured look. This type of needlework has been around for at least 1,000 years.

I love the butterfly. It was my symbol several years ago and I feel a connection to this piece. The colors are still bright and I’ve lately cycled back around to appreciating warm vivid colors.

The rooster is a fun piece, made from a variety of seeds and beans. I believe my mom made something similar to this when I was a child, so I knew this art piece was older. Dried beans and seeds, some painted, are arranged on a board and glued down. The finished work of art is then coated with shellac to protect the beans. I estimated she made this fine rooster in the 1960s.

Hand Décor

I could easily read the name and date on the butterfly. However, age had faded the writing on the back of the rooster bean art work. Standing near the window to catch the evening light didn’t help however a powerful flashlight did. I realized the name on the back was Ruby Moore, not Leta Moore. Ruby was Greg’s grandmother, and Leta’s mother-in-law. The date was barely legible: January 1964. More words were written next to Ruby’s name. Frame handmade by Bill Moore. Bill…Greg’s grandfather, Ruby’s husband.

Although I was surprised to discover the rooster wasn’t made by Leta, I love the unwritten story that this vintage piece tells. I believe the bean art must have been a gift to Leta, who collected chickens and roosters. Because both the artwork and the frame were hand crafted, it speaks to me of love and affection expressed to a daughter-in-law.

Hand Décor

I like being the keeper of these art pieces. They remind me of the artists…two strong women with very different personalities, who held in common a love for art and creating. I’m glad that I had the opportunities to watch them as artists. Ruby Moore was still making things and stripping furniture up until her death in the early 90s. Sadly, Leta Moore had Alzheimer’s the last nine years of her life. As her world shifted, she created less and less.

Clearing her house I found projects that she started and was never able to complete. I have unfinished embroidery and needlepoint pieces that still have the threaded needle slipped into the fabric, mid stitch. Although I feel sad when I hold these hand décor pieces, there is a stark beauty and a poignancy contained in the art that bears witness to the passing of time.

I felt inspired tonight, holding the Butterfly and the Rooster in my hands. I could imagine the two Moore women, one standing on either side of me, smiling and expressing joy that I delight in their hand décor. I could feel their enduring love and those twin sparks of creativity that burn brightly and never die.

I think it’s time for me to create something new.

Grandma Cynthia’s Washstand

I had the opportunity to work on my family tree for a short time today. As I looked at the hints that Ancestry.com provides, and cleaned up profiles, I was delighted to come across photos of my great grandmother, Cynthia Ann Blevins McCool. My first name comes from this petite woman, creating a strong connection between us. Happily, my name is not the only thing I have of Grandma Cynthia’s. Her washstand is tonight’s Vintage Story.

Grandma Cynthia’s Washstand

The oak washstand, which my mother estimates to be at least 100 years old, has served in several ways through several generations.

Mom remembers the heavy piece of furniture being in her grandmother’s house when she was a young girl. At that time the washstand stood taller, on longer legs, and was pressed into service as an ice box. Back in the 1940s it was common to have a wooden cabinet that was used to hold perishable foods and a huge block of ice. Mom said Grandma Cynthia’s son would fetch the ice and place it in a metal container that was then stored in the ice box. Apparently the young man was somewhat forgetful and would often wander back home, after being sent to fetch the block of ice, empty handed.

Grandma Cynthia’s Washstand Benjamin and Cynthia McCool, early 1900s, with their son Rufus. They would eventually have 8 children. Their daughter Mildred was my maternal grandmother.

Grandma Cynthia’s Washstand My great grandma Cynthia as I remember her.

Later, after Grandma got an electric refrigerator, the washstand was used to hold towels and linens. By the early 1960s, my mother had the cabinet in her possession. I remember the washstand, which was looking a bit battered by then, occupying different rooms in our Tulsa, Oklahoma house. During the 60s and 70s there was a home decor trend called antiquing. A dark base coat was used to cover a piece of wooden furniture, and then a top coat was applied. Using a sponge or a rag, the second coat of paint was partially wipe off, giving the furniture a “distressed” look. Mom antiqued the washstand, and for many years it was a dark green color.

In the mid 70s, Greg actually refinished the chest for my mom, using the same antiquing process, and changed the color from green to gold. When Mom and my stepdad moved to Arizona for a few years, the old washstand came to me, since I was Grandma Cynthia’s namesake. By then the drawer was falling apart and couldn’t be opened, and one of the doors on the front had broken in two. I was thrilled however to have a piece of furniture that belonged to my great grandmother. Fearing further damage, I covered the gold antiqued chest with a small table cloth and used it as a low table in various rooms in my house.

The fragile paper label on the back of the washstand, indicating it was part of a three piece suit of furniture. Unfortunately, there’s no company or manufacturer name. I couldn’t find any additional info about this piece online. The name JL Parker is also scrawled across the back in black ink. Mom does not recognize the name.

In 2010 Greg surprised me by completely stripping the old washstand and staining it with a dark finish, returning the chest to its original look. He repaired the drawer so that it opens and closes and rebuilt the damaged front door. I was beyond excited to see the finished washstand looking much as it must have when Grandma Cynthia owned it, other than being approximately six inches shorter. The washstand has a place of honor in the corner of my bedroom. I use the base to stash linens and lightweight blankets. The drawer is filled with small keepsakes and pieces of jewelry. I frequently change the vignettes on the top of the chest.

I think of my great grandmother whenever I dust the washstand surface or create a new vignette. Grandma Cynthia passed away in 1974. She was a life loving woman, with an infectious laugh and a fiery temper. She loved her family and going on adventures. That desire to travel and see the world has passed down to my mother, and to me, and now to my children and grandchildren. I think Cynthia Ann Blevins McCool would laugh with glee about that.

I love this vintage piece. What a history it’s had, as a practical washstand, an ice box, a funky antiqued chest, a simple table and now as a linen cabinet. It has passed through the women in my family and I will someday hand it on to one of my daughters, a sturdy reminder of the strength of love and family and endurance.

Grandma Cynthia’s Washstand

Right as Rain

I very rarely have to water my flower and herb gardens. The containers get watered daily and the veggie garden once or twice a week. However we typically get sufficient rain during the spring and early summer months, making additional watering of the gardens unnecessary.

Not so this year! We’ve gone from a cold early spring to a hot and dry late spring. It’s mid June, and yet I’ve already had to water the entire garden three times. Although the dryness is surprising, I’m not really complaining. I’ve enjoyed using a couple of vintage water sprinklers for the first time.

Right as Rain

I brought these two unique old sprinklers home, after Greg’s dad Bob Moore passed away three years ago. We found them in the garage. I don’t remember Dad Moore using the sprinklers, however, he used to have a garden 30 years ago, raising gorgeous tomato plants and rows of green beans. He surely used the sprinklers then.

After I brought the sprinklers home, I kept them with the double intention of displaying them in the garden and using them for the purpose they were made for…watering plants. This season, I’ve done both! The metal sprinklers are on display on the potting table that Greg built for me. And this past week, I’ve tried out both sprinklers.

Right as Rain

The Square Sav-Water Sprinkler was manufactured in the 1930s. The company is no longer in existence. The square base creates stability and makes it easy to move the sprinkler around the garden. The sprinkler head is round and contains many tiny holes. I admit to a sense of child like glee as I attached the garden hose to this sprinkler last week and turned on the water. After a few sputters, as the force of water cleared years of dust from the openings, beautiful life giving water arced into the air and showered down on my thirsty plants. I laughed with delight.

Right as Rain

Right as Rain

The spray covered a surprisingly large area. I was very pleased with this “patent pending” sprinkler.

This evening I tried out the HECO Roselawn Sprinkler. Manufactured in the 1930s as well, this sprinkler came from the Heckethorn Manufacturing Company, located in Littleton, Colorado. The company does not exist there today, although it produced a variety of metal products until the 1950s.

This round sprinkler makes me laugh. It reminds me of a face, or a gas mask. I thought, as I studied the design, that it might put out two streams of water, making it less effective than the square sav-water sprinkler. It worked great, delivering a fine spray of water to the plants in a circular pattern. I was impressed with this sprinkler as well.

Right as Rain

Right as Rain

When I discovered that the sprinklers were made in the 1930s, I asked Greg if they originally belonged to his grandfather, rather than his father. Greg confirmed that.

Grandpa Bill was a gardener later in life. However, as a young man, with a growing family, he worked as a golf course superintendent in Wichita, Kansas, hired by the Wichita Board of Commissioners. He oversaw several of the golf courses in the area, responsible for the greens, grounds and landscaping, designing greens, and monitoring the health and environment of the golf courses. He held this position from the late 1920s to the early 1940s, precisely when those sprinklers were being manufactured.

I’m speculating here, since sadly I can’t ask Bill or Bob, but it is easy to imagine that Grandpa Bill purchased those sprinklers for his personal use, after using them successfully in his work. Or he purchased them from the golf course or they were given to him when new sprinklers were bought to replace them. Greg told me that after the Moores moved to Missouri, Grandpa Bill raised zoysia grass that ended up on several church and funeral home lawns in the county. And, he always had a huge garden. Those sprinklers were in use for many years, before being given to Greg’s dad after Grandpa Bill moved into an assisted living facility.

And now…these vintage sprinklers that are 75+ years old are watering my gardens. I love that they have history and a story. I love that Grandpa Bill used them and Dad Moore used them and now I do. They will pass on to one of my kids someday, whoever inherited a green thumb or at least shows an interest in gardening and growing things.

Give me these unique vintage metal sprinklers any day, over a bright green plastic sprinkler that might last a season or two. These sprinklers will still be watering gardens 75 years from now.

Right as Rain

Aunt Roxie’s Box

I have a chippy red box, that’s been in my possession since 1994. I don’t know the box’s exact age, although I do know its original purpose. The box is rustic and plain, with small nails still evident in the interior, raised slightly out of the wood.

This treasure once belonged to my great great aunt Roxie.

Aunt Roxie’s Box

The box came to me after Aunt Roxie passed away, at the age of 98, in 1994. She lived her entire life in the tiny farm town of Rocky Comfort, Missouri, in McDonald County. She was my paternal grandmother’s aunt, and she played a very significant role in Granny Grace’s life.

When my grandmother was a young girl, the unthinkable happened. Her mother died, of an abscessed tooth, in 1917, leaving behind a husband and two small children. Curtis Hill needed help with his young son and daughter, so his sister, Roxanne Lee Hill, moved in and became a mother to those children. She was only 24 years old.

Aunt Roxie’s Box

Aunt Roxie raised my grandmother and her brother. She never married or had children of her own. Grace and Garland were her children, the children of her heart.

What I remember most about this remarkable, selfless woman was her sense of humor. She had a contagious laugh and found many reasons to express her delight in people and situations. Aunt Roxie was practical and down to earth as well, meaning she knew how to get things done. She was strong, and wiry, and very petite.

Which is where that red box comes into the story. When she sat in an average sized chair, Aunt Roxie’s feet didn’t touch the floor. She made a footrest for herself, out of the box. When I brought the footrest home, after Aunt Roxie’s funeral, it was covered with faded and worn material. There was a bit of padding on top of the box, and the plaid material had been stretched over the top and sides of the footrest and tacked with nails inside the box.

Aunt Roxie’s Box

When I carefully peeled back a corner of the material, I was delighted to see red paint on the sides of the wooden box. I removed the old material and the padding, and flipped the footrest over. I now had a vintage wooden box. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I love decorating and creating vignettes in old wooden boxes.

The box has had a place of honor in my living room, for 24 years. It currently rests on a small wooden bench. I have a couple of mason jars tucked inside, that hold tea light candles, along with dried baby’s breath and fat sticks of cinnamon. At Christmas time the box is the resting place for three quilted fabric trees.

Aunt Roxie’s Box

Aunt Roxie’s Box

I enjoy having this special keepsake. It reminds me of the strength and character of a woman who sacrificed much to care for two motherless children. I know the bond of love that existed between Roxie and my grandmother, Grace, lasted their whole lives. Granny was with Roxie when she passed away.

Her legacy of love and care has passed down through my family, generation by generation. For me that legacy is symbolized by a rustic red box…strong, resilient, and beautifully worn by the passage of time. Aunt Roxie would chuckle that I still have her old footrest and that I’ve found a new use for it. The box, and Aunt Roxie, are precious to me.

Aunt Roxie’s Box

Hello Can You Hear Me?

Tonight’s post is another in my Vintage Stories series. The featured item rests on one of my bedside tables, a unique lamp that did not begin its life as an illuminator. Its original purpose was to magically connect people, allowing them to communicate even though they were miles apart.

Hello Can You Hear Me?

Greg’s dad, Bob, gave me this unusual piece shortly after Leta Moore passed away. My children used to play with the lamp that was a telephone, when they visited their grandparents, talking into the mouthpiece to imaginary friends.

My grandchildren, in turn, played with the lamp. Although to them a phone was a device small enough to fit into their hands, and had fun games downloaded on it, they instinctively knew to place the receiver to their ear and lean forward to speak into the mouthpiece.

Hello Can You Hear Me?

I knew a little bit of history about the lamp. Bob acquired the phone from the Noel Telephone Exchange, in the tiny town of Noel, Missouri, and repurposed it into a lamp, in the late 50s or early 60s. When the receiver is lifted, the lamp lights up. When the receiver is hung up, the light goes off. Clever, huh?

Tonight I removed the lampshade and studied the heavy phone. I was excited to find a company name engraved around the top of the receiver: Stromberg Carlson Telephone Company. I had something I could research! And, engraved on the back of the mouthpiece were these dates: November 26, 1901 March 19, 1907 April 14, 1908 with the additional words, Patent Pending. I’ve never noticed this vital information before. It was time to Google.

Hello Can You Hear Me?

The Stromberg Carlson Telephone Company was founded in 1894, in the US, by Swedish inventors Alfred Stromberg, on the left above, and Androv Carlson, on the right. The company was one of five that controlled the national supply of telephone equipment, until after World War II.

Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone patent expired in 1894. These enterprising men, employees of American Bell Telephone Company in Chicago, seized an opportunity. Stromberg and Carlson each invested $500 to establish a firm with the purpose of manufacturing telephone equipment to sell to independent telephone companies.

The model I have is a Stromberg Carlson Kellogg Candlestick Telephone, made in 1908. This 110 year old telephone is vintage, indeed!

Hello Can You Hear Me?Stromberg and Carlson are credited with bringing communication to rural America. This advertisement is for one of their wall models.

So how did Bob Moore acquire this old phone? Greg remembered that the Noel Telephone Exchange, which no longer exists, was owned by Fred Cartwright. Back to Google we went, with a Greg now caught up in the hunt for info.

He discovered that the Cartwrights purchased the Noel Exchange in 1947. On May 27, 1955 the Cartwrights installed a dial telephone system in Noel…the first in the county…after losing their contract with Stromberg Carlson in late 1954. The old phones, with ear and mouth pieces, were no longer needed.

The Moores moved to Noel in 1956, after the dial system was installed. Bob and his dad, Bill, opened a drive in, south of Noel, that featured hamburgers and barbecue sandwiches. They drew hungry customers from McDonald County and the neighboring Arkansas county of Benton. The Cartwrights were patrons of Moore’s Drive-In. At some point, Fred gave, or sold, one of the old Stromberg Carlson phones to Bob.

Hello Can You Hear Me?

The part of the story that I don’t know is how Bob came up with the repurposing idea. Greg, who was just a toddler when his family moved to Noel, can’t remember the transformation from phone to lamp. He and I both believe Bob did the work.

We had Dad Moore with us for a good long time. He passed away three years ago, at the grand age of 94. I talked with him for hours, in his twilight years, as we sat together in his porch swing. I tried to ask him the questions that I knew I’d want answers to later. However, I did not at that time know what I was leaving unanswered. Why didn’t I ask him to tell me again the story of the telephone lamp?

The lamp sends a soft glow into my room at night, chasing away darkness. I think of Bob and Leta Moore when I look at the lamp, and I think of my kids and grandkids who have playfully enjoyed the lamp as well. It sparked their imagination, as it has mine. And apparently, long ago, the telephone inspired Bob as well.

In its former life, the lamp was a communication device, allowing people to talk…and ask questions…across great distances. Perhaps as I lean in close to the mouthpiece, I can ask Bob about creating the lamp. Hello, can you hear me? I will listen for a reply.

Hello Can You Hear Me?