When I was a little girl, my family would drive every summer from the Bay Area in California to Lakeview, Oregon to visit my grandma and grandpa. For many years grandma and grandpa had a house in town that they lived in most of the time. They also had a little house out at the ranch, about 10 miles from town.
The ranch house was small and old and had a pendant lamp hanging over the kitchen table that you could raise and lower just by tugging on it. The faucet over the sink ran a magical liquid called "ranch water" that was loads better than city water. There was also an old wood burning stove that grandma cooked on.
I remember a round plate on the stove top with a little notch in it. With a special handle, grandma could lift up the plate and throw in the paper napkins from dinner and they'd burn right up.
Always sitting right on top of the stove, ready to season a tasty ranch meal, were grandma's salt and pepper shakers. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to get the salt and pepper shakers for my very own. Grandma was no longer using them, and after asking nicely and verbally staking my claim to my mom and aunts and cousin, my mom surprised me by bringing them to me.
I didn't waste any time filling them up and setting them in a place of prominence in the kitchen. They started out on the stove top, just like grandma had them. After they heated up to a million degrees from sitting right in front of the oven vent, I decided to move them to the counter.
I love them. They remind me of grandma and they remind me of all the good times at that Lakeview ranch house: playing in the hay barn, riding the 3-wheel ATV, searching for arrow heads out in the fields, jumping the irrigation ditch, and going into Grandpa's shop and seeing all the first and grand prize ribbons Grandpa's steer won at the county fair pinned up on the wall.
I love my grandma's salt and pepper shakers.