Once upon a time there was a twirpy little girl with dirty fingernails, freckles, orange hair and a stuffed elephant named Peanuts.  She had a Grandma that cooked on a big stove with 2 ovens.  Later she would experience the hardships that would stretch her into Dandelionmom but lets not get ahead of ourselves shall we?  For now, life is so idyllic that she has few memories of it. Laying in damp grass watching the changing patterns of sunlight filter through oak leaves; squishing barefoot through mud puddles; catching lightening bugs and pulling off their lights and sticking them to her ring finger and calling them DIAMONDS and watching Grandma cook while sipping apple juice from a skinny pink tupperware cup. (yeah she was long-winded and lacked the ability to end a sentence in it’s own time instead of slowly strangling every bit of life out of it, making it gasp for its last breath without a single jot of punctuation in site-but hey-she was cute)

Where were we?-Oh yes!-Grandma’s stove!  She had in her kitchen 3 of the most amazing things any little girl could love (besides the lavender gingham kitten that somehow flew behind that stove)–they were pigs–glorious white pigs wearing red skirts with polka dots all over them!  One of these bright, fanciful gals was a cookie jar–nothing bad ever happened when that ladies head was off!! The other 2 were salt and pepper shakers-they lived on the back part of the stove that sticks up against the wall–even over the years and years you can still hear that hard lump of salt clatter around inside that  ceramic piggie as Grandma shakes it over a pan of something sizzely.  The polka dots on these pigs were sort of recessed a bit-just the absolute perfect size for a little girl to fit her finger into their cool divets-the red one fits a thumb-the blue is perfect for a pointer-finger-and the green is not quite right for any so you need to keep trying each (while you talk to them).  If a little girl is very good and very quiet and washes her hands nicely, then she can quietly hold one of these little pigs while Grandma is busy.  The little girl with mud between her toes loooves those pigs and holds her breath when she asks to hold them, because sometimes Grandma says no. She is careful to always choose the pig she did not hold the last time (only one at a time you know) so the other one won’t feel left out.  After she carefully hands the treasure back to Grandma-then Grandma reaches into the big piggie and brings out a dutch windmill cookie for the little girl to have with her apple juice.

Lets fast forward now shall we-past the stretching time when the pigs were put away, the little girl moved in with that Grandma who stopped filling a cookie jar or buying apple juice.  One day, after she married, Grandma came to visit and brought former-little-girl the salt and pepper shakers and they shared a long talk and a lot of memories.  The 2 little pig ladies became her very own and have been on or above her stove in many different kitchens.  They are still bright-some would say gaudy-the glaze was hastily applied on an assembly line and the years and lack of sophistication tax them greatly.  Her fingers still fit in the polka-dots-although different ones now–salt piggie still has a rattle.  Gradually that girl grew into Dandelionmom and learned to appreciate old things and memories more each year.

The cookie jar? Lost.

About 10 years ago, Dandelionmom began doing a polka-dot pig search on e-bay every-other time she went looking for something else.  Turns out-Mrs Polka Dot Pig is American Bisque and very valuable-who knew?  Over the years she was outbid on many many personifications of that happy time. UNTIL LAST WEEK!! (yep-she finally got tto the point!!)  Coming to her from New Jersey-(far far away from Waterloo (John Deere country)IA where she first met and loved this pig) via a tall man  wearing short brown pants–is a twin to the long-lost 3rd pig!!  Her kitchen is complete!!

A warm-fuzzy memory embodied in somewhat cheesy ceramic.  Can’t wait to tell Gram!