Sunday, January 22, 2012

Priceless...

You've heard the MasterCard commercials, I'm sure.  They go something like this:  "Two shirts and a dress - $14.  Trip to the salon - $78.  Groceries - $66.  Knowing someone has your back - priceless."


Aside from my relationship with Jesus, this would be my "priceless"...

At the end of an evening meal, Mom (my mother-in-law) would habitually ask, "You want black coffee?"  Joe always said yes; I always said no. I do not drink espresso, but Joe grew up on it.  Dinner wasn't complete until the espresso - or "black coffee" as Mom called it - was brewed in her little pot that had once belonged to her mother.

That little pot survived the 3-week boat trek from Italy to America in about 1926. I think to Mom that little pot was priceless - a treasure from her homeland, passed down from her mother.  She would "cook" the black coffee in that little pot on a gas stove.  Sometimes, if Mom got distracted, the little pot would spew a black mess all over the place. The truth be told, I was a little afraid of that odd-looking coffee pot because it would erupt like a volcano if one didn't tend to it and time it exactly right. Sometimes, she would have to dump it out, clean out the pot, clean up the stove, and start all over. And she did it with a smile on her face. Making good black coffee was just as important as a good pot of sauce.  Mom would serve it in little demitasse cups.  She would finally sit at the table with her broad smile and upon her first sip, she would always enthusiastically exclaim, "Aah..."

When I was a newlywed, I took ceramics classes. I made a few different things for Mom over the years.  But, one of my first designs was a set of demitasse cups and saucers that I gave her for Christmas. She proudly kept them in her china cabinet next to her "good" dishes.  She wouldn't use them for everyday black-coffee drinking.  She only brought them out on holidays or when relatives came to visit.  To her they were priceless just because I made them.


The one thing my first-born son wanted of Grandma's belongings after she passed on was her black coffee pot.  He also took her demitasse cups - the everyday ones and the "good ones". They are proudly on displayed on a shelf in his kitchen. I think to him they are a priceless gift of his heritage.

Homemade black coffee - $5.
Mom's coffee pot - $100.
To have it served from Mom's hand just one more time - priceless.

What would be priceless to you?

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

11 comments:

Martha Herden said...

Diane-
This took me back to my own Grandmother and how she too drank this strong black coffee each morning. I can understand your son cherishing that "special pot" because its filled with years of memories. I have my Grandmother's Chiming Mantle Clock-I have vivid memories of her winding it and as a little girl, oh how I wanted to touch it. She would always tell me how "careful" the winding of it had to be and so I just watched. Now each time the Clock Chimes, I am filled with wonderful memories. Your Mom-in-love sounds like a wonderful woman!! Thanks for sharing this story. Martha

Diane Ronzino said...

My great aunt used to have a clock like that. I would love to hear it chime.

Isn't it God that it the midst of real trying times, there are such wonderful memories that keep us going?

Maria Ronzino was a wonderful woman. You would have loved each other! I wrote about her. On the right side, click on Excerpts from My Memoir. It's the second story entitled Love Personified.

Pam said...

This story reminded me of my Grandma too... how she used to serve in her demitasse cups...

Lovely story, Diane.

Diane Ronzino said...

Cool, Pam! Did she cook hers on her stove?

Lolita said...

And I will just dream about the dishes she used to cook and serve. I do love Italian cooking.

I know the priceless value of things we hold dear because of memories connected with them and people involved in those shared moments..... so loved, so cherished...even to generations when there is still someone to tell of the stories behind them. They become a legacy.

Thanks for a portion of your dear mother-in-law. She radiates and generates love... what of you and your children?

Diane Ronzino said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Lolita. In the "olden days", before written language was, stories were how they shared from one generation to the next. It's almost a lost art today. Sigh.

Betty said...

Since we have moved so much some of my priceless things have gotten lost and even stolden.. Ace always says do not plant my tent stakes too deep for we are sojourners here on earth. Once again God is having us pull up our tent stakes and once again I have had to sort through some items I have counted as priceless in many ways and make the choice to not take them with me.
I must admit I have envied those of you have been able to live mostly in the same place for long period of life and be surrounded by priceless things. Maybe its the growing older that has caused my heart to long for the priceless here on earth. I never struggled with insecurity till I hit the 60.
You are so right Diane, Jesus must be the most priceless person in our life, not things even though it is nice to have things. Our two children have both said the only thing we want of yours is your bibles. How mericful of them for they have given up so much too as we followed the Lord in our travels.
I say this without judgement or envy but out of the hope that lives within my heart that encourages me today...I can never lose Him,no will He break and ON ONE can steal Him from me and He only grows more precious and priceless as I walk with Him.
I must tell you though I would love to sit at your tables and hear stories of those 'special pots", a 'mantle clock" and the "demitasse cups". The telling of stories are how people in places tucked in remote place keep whose language has never been written down keep alive the "priceless" in their culture.
A very thought provoking post Diane for me since we have been in the process of this latest move and having to deal with priceless items. YOu women are wonderful women too.

Betty said...

Sorry did not mean to post without spell check and few other checks. This above reply requires mercy on the readers.

Diane Ronzino said...

Oh, Betty, I know through personal experience with Alece, what you have given up. And I also know the most priceless things in my life is my relationship with Jesus and my Bible. My Bible is the only thing that will probably be left to my children. To know that your children would want it is a priceless treasure to you, I'm sure.

We have moved and lost more times than I wish to remember. There are moments in my own life when I visit someone's home and wish for the stability in years in one place brings or the "treasure" of their belongings. Ours are few compared to most. Sometimes, the devil really causes me to stop and consider all I've missed.

But...

I quickly come back to my Priceless Treasure - my relationship with Jesus. It it what it is because of all my losses in life. As I'm sure it is with you. We are blessed because of it.

Diane Ronzino said...

Oh, Betty, I know through personal experience with Alece, what you have given up. And I also know the most priceless things in my life is my relationship with Jesus and my Bible. My Bible is the only thing that will probably be left to my children. To know that your children would want it is a priceless treasure to you, I'm sure.

We have moved and lost more times than I wish to remember. There are moments in my own life when I visit someone's home and wish for the stability in years in one place brings or the "treasure" of their belongings. Ours are few compared to most. Sometimes, the devil really causes me to stop and consider all I've missed.

But...

I quickly come back to my Priceless Treasure - my relationship with Jesus. It it what it is because of all my losses in life. As I'm sure it is with you. We are blessed because of it.

Diane Ronzino said...

And no need for perfection here. I'm sure you've spotted my misspellings and incorrect grammar. It does not make me look upon your beautiful writings any less!