The Pink BowlThe Pink Bowl

The Wiles children's paternal grandmother, Exie Adeline Collins Wiles, was the fond possessor of this glass bowl from age 8 to her death. She related that when she was a young girl, she was loitering about the yard of a kindly neighbor couple while they were packing up to move. The husband was growing weary and exasperated with all the knicky-knacky items he had to wrap, and when he saw little Exie worshipfully eyeing the pink bowl he had in his hands, he looked at it for a moment, then unceremoniously thrust it toward her, saying, "Here--you want this?"

Did she want it?? Well, yes, she certainly did! She breathed an ecstatic thank-you and clasped it to her bosom and, trembling with elation, carried it carefully home to stow it in a safe place. And thereafter, for all the years of her life, whenever she moved to a new home (and there were many, many such moves in her lifetime—over thirty), she carried it to the new location resting securely in her own lap; she entrusted it to nobody's hands but her own.

Exie told me (her daughter-in-law) that she didn't think it could have been of any great antiquity or value, but that she had never seen another quite like it. Nor have I. There are many pieces of a similar color, with that kind of ruffled edge, but the lattice pattern in the base is unique to my knowledge; I believe it must be rare. And now that over a hundred years have passed since little Exie acquired it (about 1913), it can no longer be denied that The Pink Bowl is "old."

I always feel a sense of wonder when I look at the beautiful thing, and I smile to think of that little girl, thrilled to the soul with her treasure.

~ Laverne Hahn Wiles 2015/02/20