You Don't Forget Your Wedding Gifts

Aunt Clarice arranged the gifts at the wedding.
The the day after our wedding, before we left on our honeymoon, we stopped by my parents home to open gifts. There was a big pile of them. On no day, before or since, have I opened so many gifts. Friends and family had been generous, providing much of the basics we needed as we started our new life together.  Most were practical, a few were extravagant.  And now, so many years later (39!) I feel like I still remember them all.

I've had many wonderful gifts in the years since then and I hope I've been able to give a few meaningful ones as well, but I must confess, most have slipped from my memory. But my memories of our wedding gifts linger on. The small appliances have been replaced, some more than once. So have the towels and sheet sets. But there are other gifts that I still have and use. Still, after all these years, I can pull out a dish or a tablecloth, remember that it was a wedding gift and tell you who gave them to us. 
Sandy and Karen helped out in the kitchen during the reception.


This Pyrex casserole dish in the so-popular harvest gold color came from Jack and Sandy, a young couple in our church who had three daughters.  What a practical gift! How many times have I pulled this dish out to make a tuna casserole or something else for our family dinner?  A lot! I've had other casserole dishes, of course. Some have passed through my kitchen and into oblivion. But this one, mingled with thoughts of a dear family remains.

 My mixing bowls are no longer complete sets. The stainless steel set once had a least three bowls. Certainly the two missing ones were not broken, but they're gone now. They came from Vern and Lennie, an elderly couple from Temple Baptist Church. They both spoke with a heavy southern drawl and Vern was known as an astute student of the Bible.  

The Old Orchard Pyrex set in the butterscotch color was a gift from the staff at the Hutchinson Public Library where I worked. Decorated with a somewhat abstract picture of fruit, this "Cinderella" set has a handle and spout and was once a four piece set with the very largest and the middle one now gone.  Lots of cookie dough and pancake batter were mixed in these bowls. I often grab the stainless steel bowl when I'm cleaning and need some soapy water.

This lovely cake carrier in vibrant red/orange came from Doris and her beautiful daughter, Judy. Doris and her husband, John were the musical backbone of our church. They were the adventurous sponsors of our junior high youth group and took us all camping at a local lake. Judy was a few months older than me, and way ahead of me on the coolness scale. When I opened the gift from them, I knew it would be something special because that's just the kind of people they were.  Because of its size, I've always stored this in the basement, but it comes upstairs for every birthday. 

Elva signs the guest book.
This iridescent reproduction Depression Glass pitcher with matching glasses came from Edna and Elva. One gave me the pitcher and the other the glasses. Edna and Elva were identical twins and often did things like buying complimenting gifts together. They were of the same generation as my parents. Both were married with children in the same age range as me and my siblings. Since neither is still living, perhaps it is permissible to admit that I found these a bit gaudy and didn't use them often. The glasses are stored in the original boxes. As the years go by, I find I like them more and more. Still, there are not too many occasions to use such things. 

The brown tablecloth came from Marge, who worked at the State Farm insurance office where Mike stopped in from time to time to make a claim or pay a bill. She must have been extremely helpful, because when we made the guest list, Mike insisted that she should be included. She didn't attend the wedding, but still sent this sophisticated tablecloth with an abstract square design.

The cheerful yellow tablecloth with matching napkins was a gift from my friend, Dee. She made them for me using a gingham fabric with one-inch squares. She had spent the summer working for a custom drapery shop where she sewed drapes in an upstairs workshop on Main Street in downtown Hutchinson. Dear Dee had been my faithful friend through all of my growing up years at Crestview Bible Church. She was headed off to finish her college degree while I stayed close to home to marry and work at the library. 
Dee, in pink, was one of my bridesmaids. Cindee, my sister-in-law is in yellow while my sister, Nancy, is in blue. Mike's niece, Leslie, was our flower girl.
Mike's sister, Cindee, (pictured above) gave us this cuckoo clock. She was in the Air Force and came to our wedding on her way to California where she was being reassigned. She had a friend who was stationed in Germany and was able to purchase this clock through her. It is a unique clock as rather than a cuckoo, mugs of beer appear through the two small doors when it strikes the hour. The two gentlemen in front also lift their mugs on the hour. Unfortunately, it has never worked for very long, though we have tried to have it repaired several times. We still love it and it hangs on our wall. It may be this clock that began Mike on his life-time love of all clocks, working or not. It is not the only non-working clock in our home.

As I recall, this Deviled Egg Plate came in a Wiley's Department Store box with that distinctive W label. That was a sure sign of something elegant. It was a gift from one of the farm families that employed Mike when he was in high school. It is pottery with beautiful green and brown glaze and was stamped Frankoma 819. It is not particularly valuable. I just checked.

 This cutting board was carefully crafted by my brother-in-law, Paul. However, he wasn't our brother-in-law when we were married, that came a few years later. It is about two inches thick made from sixteen sections of hardwood. Knowing Paul's perfectionist tendencies, a great deal of time was no doubt invested. You can see that it has been well used, but it is not even close to being worn out. 
Paul, with the pink carnation, was a groomsman.Other groomsmen were Bill and Perry.
There were other gifts, of course. I could have pulled out a few more, but you get the idea. These were the kinds of gifts you received when you were married in 1975 in southwest Kansas. And I still appreciate, perhaps more now than then, what a honor it was to be the recipient of so much love.

Heading off into our new life together in an old, beat up pickup truck. Double knit leisure suits and our youth not withstanding, it's been a wonderful life! Thank God for the blessing of a happy marriage.


  1. You have given meaningful gifts! I'm pretty sure you gave me a few cookbooks, one of them the "Fannie Farmer Baking Book" and I think the "How to Cook Everything". There was a chicken one too, maybe that was from you. What a neat post!

  2. This was fun to look at after reading about Jesse's engagement.
    I'm looking at a pewter apple-shaped dish with a lid and spoon that was a wedding gift to us. I don't think I've ever put anything in it, but I've enjoyed it as a knick knack. Vicky


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