Candy Makes the Wheel of the Year Go ‘Round

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The table in the front window is decorated with lights and ghosts, and of course the jack-o-lanterns are lit:






As I was filling The Bowl with candy to prepare for the trick-or-treaters, and enjoying the prospect of seeing all the kids in their costumes, I thought about The Bowl.

The Bowl


It’s a wide, not especially deep, brown ceramic bowl with white glaze accents. It’s nothing remarkable, visually or aesthetically.

It was given to my parents very early in their marriage by my Dad’s grandmother.  “Ma’am”, as we called her, was a rather serious German woman who had been widowed young and raised two daughters by herself during the Depression, running my great-grandfather’s soda factory after he died. She cooked, cleaned, and took care of everything so well that my grandmother (my Dad’s mom) didn’t learn to cook until she was in her fifties.

The Bowl was filled with mashed potatoes at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every family meal in between. The Bowl held potato salad at Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.  The Bowl held candy at Halloween, and chocolates at Valentine’s.  The Bowl was used, washed, dried, and put away almost every day of my family’s life.

When my mom died, one of the few possessions of hers I really wanted was The Bowl. My brothers were happy to let me have it.

The first year I used it to hand out candy at Halloween was the first Samhain without my Mom, and it helped me feel connected to her (and to my Dad, who had passed to the other side of the veil before Mom).

The first Thanksgiving I filled it with mashed potatoes as part of a feast for my friends and family of choice, I felt the connection.  The same for Christmas, and all the other holidays.  The Bowl was a continued presence in my celebrations of the year, and a way to include my family of origin as well.

I thought of all the meals, all the sweets, all the treats that bowl has provided since 1959.

It’s a pretty remarkable bowl, after all.

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