This past weekend my husband, (the builder and all round “do it yourself” man) started to dig a hole to bury our new above-ground pool three feet into the ground. Don’t ask. The house was built in 1840 and back in the day everyone had a glass dump— a place on the property where the stuff they couldn’t burn and was not worth hauling away got dumped. So canning jars that broke, Aunt Mable’s best shattered serving dish, the window Tommy’s baseball went through all ended up there. When my husband started to dig the pool, he found the glass dump. It wasn’t just a pile of glass. This house has a garage/barn that was moved when the back porch was added. My best guess is that during that move, the glass dump was spread around to make room for the barn. So when he started to dig he came across all sorts of things.
On Saturday morning, my two granddaughters came to visit for the day. Immediately they wanted to check out Poppi’s hole.
“What are you doing Poppi,” they asked.
“Digging a hole for the pool.”
“It’s not very deep.”
“Not yet. And remember we told you part of it is going to be above the ground and ….”
They weren’t listening anymore. From over in the hole , Kira screamed, “YaYa, I found sea glass.”
“That’s not sea glass. You only find sea glass at the beach,” said eleven-year-old Mayah with a roll of her eyes, “ YaYa, I found a piece of fancy china with a funny leg.”
They brought their treasures out of the hole and over to me to inspect. Sure enough— Mayah’s piece was fine china. It looked like a gravy boat, maybe. I showed them the glaze lines that told me it was old. Kira’s was a canning jar complete with the word Acme on it.
That was all it took and they were off. Digging and searching for more treasures.
“Do you guys want to go to the beach,” I asked.
Several hours later they were washing their treasures in the freezing sump pump run-off. I asked if they wanted some warm sudsy water.
“Yesssss! And a towel. And a toothbrush for scrubbing….”
They found pieces of old tile, probably from the original fireplace. They found charred wood, probably from the kitchen fire 60 years ago. They found pieces of Coke bottles, and lots of canning jars, bits of crockery, and “real coal.” Each piece was diligently washed, scrubbed, and dried.
By the end of the day a large mason jar was filled with all their treasures and displayed on the back porch window ledge, which is where we put all of our finds for the summer. They went home dirty, tired, and totally content with YaYa’s treasure.
The next day, my husband came in with a handful of treasures himself.
“What should I do with them?”
“Bury them behind the barn for the kids’ next visit. You can’t buy that kind of entertainment at any price!”