September 26, 2012

Bet's Bottles

Years ago when my boys were little, there was a craft mall that I liked to visit.
Risky business with three little boys.

It was there that we met a sweet lady named Bet.
She was probably in her seventies at that time.

Bet had a small booth of her pottery goods.
She took great pride in her work and if there was the slightest defect in the glaze,
she would price those items at a dollar or two.
She claimed they weren't worth very much,
but I was amazed at her beautiful work.
I bought every one I found and many of those came from Bet's bargain bin.
It was rare to find that she had priced something as it should have been.

Bet made some of my most treasured keeps.
She was a soul I felt connected to.
I don't have any idea how many pieces I have.
I lost count after awhile.
Some I have shared with family and friends. Some have been broken.
 They are all cherished no matter their current address.
I will admit that there were tears whenever one was broken.
They were all one of a kind, never to be replaced.

Bet began making pieces for me- her green was my favorite.
She asked what colors I collected and I told her green, brown and white.
I have quite a few in the palest of pinks, and a few in pale blue.
There were a couple of dark blue that miraculously survived the boy's game room.

She always seemed so surprised at my delight, but delighted I was.
I am delighted to this day by my little bottles.
I can imagine Bet at her potter's wheel,
hands covered in clay and a determined look in her eyes.
Always striving for perfection in her work, yet never feeling like she found it.

Bet stopped coming one day.
It made me so sad to realize that I'd probably never see her again.
I hoped that I had shown her how much I cared
~that she knew how important those little pottery pieces were to me.
That the perfection she chased was right in front of her...she should have seen it in my eyes.

They are probably in every room of our house.
The boys have taken a few of them as they've left home.
I hope they remember that they bought a few for me with saved quarters,
hidden away in their Oshkosh pockets.
My treasures.

The little craft mall closed down a few years after that.

Once in awhile I come across some similar pottery.
With wistful expectation, I'll turn it over in my hand  hoping to see her name again.
I've never come across another, but the ones I do have are forever in my heart.
And so is she.

I know she has long since passed,
but Bet's pottery takes me back in time every day.
"How 'bout this one, Mama?"

Yes, Casey Bear.
I think it must have been made just for you.

Bet told us she didn't really know what that "lump" was on top of the jar.
But if we said it was a bear, then a bear it was.
The felt stickers have worn away with only yellowed stains remaining,
but she did put her name on the bottom of most of her pieces.
Some are stamped, some are handwritten.
Just Bet.
My name is Bettina.
I like to think no.

Sharing here:


  1. What a beautiful post. Her pottery is gorgeous! She evidently was a perfectionist, always striving for more. I love items someone made ~ so many special memories about them.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. oh, this is so sweet! i love this!!! love the vision of her you shared with us. love that you continue to treasure these personal works.

  3. Lovely tribute to a very talented lady named Bet. Her work is wonderful!

  4. What a sweet story! I bet it made her day every time you visited and admired her work. The jars look like they are made of polished stone. You've got a wonderful collection with a lovely story to go with.

    And I see you have a "nice" little squirrel hanging around your place. :@

  5. What a sweet memory to share with us about your friendship with Bet and her talent with pottery! It is sad that there wasn't closure somehow in being able to say good bye to her and wondering how she was doing, when she passed, etc., but such a legacy she left behind in her talent and the love you had for her.


  6. So sweet!

    I am loving Bet's pottery and while it's all beautiful, the green speaks to me!

    What a beautiful collection!

    How are the dogs doing?!



  7. Lovely tribute to your friend Bet. Her pottery is so beautiful, no wonder you were delighted with each piece you purchased.
    Thank you so much for stopping by.
    Mary Alice

  8. What a beautiful post. I love the pottery. Sometimes wonderful people like Bet come into our lives and stay with us forever. I had a friend like that named Anna. She taught me to bake. Your post reminded me of her.

  9. What a fabulous story. How sweet you were to share in the joy she had in making her pottery. Despite her talk of their imperfections, you were validating her efforts and she most certainly would have been smiling inside everytime she saw you.

    Now, about that pickle and the ice cream. My front door will be unsecured, come by and "borrow" it a while, would ya? My daughter is fighting my desire to hang it on the dining room wall. There is certainly pickle a-plenty! Thanks for taking the time to check out my post and leave me your fun comment! Oh, by the way, if you can find any ice cream left, you're welcome to that too, but I'm thinking if you want some, you'd better hurry! It's kind of an ice cream free for all here. We tend to maintain a you snooze, you lose attitude about it. :D

  10. Tina! So sweet! I wish Bet could see your beautiful writing about her beautiful pottery! I love that you have shared her pottery with loved ones too :) ...really a lovely post! ...-Ann (

  11. Oh I have water filled eyes after that sweet story. She would be so proud to have been honored this way by you.

  12. I LOL at your "why is my 'd' key not working? Bruce?"

    Totally made my day yesterday.

    I thank you!

    Today we hit LeeAnn Chin's after physical therapy and we received one of the dumbest/worst "fortunes" EVA!

    It's a cliffhanger, TOT!

    Have a great Friday!



  13. I love your squirrel! I collect squirrel anything. :) This is a lovely and sweet story! She did such beautiful work. So glad you shared this with us.:)

  14. What a lovely story! I'm sure Bet was so happy when you purchased her pottery. Thanks for sharing Bet's pottery with us at our Make It Monday link party!

  15. I am so glad you linked this post to Make It Monday. Such a touching story. It reminds of a potter from Ohio who used to come to a craft show near us. I always bought his cobalt blue bowls. Then one year he was not there. It makes the pottery more precious, doesn't it?


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