Friday, March 21, 2008


After posting yesterday's entry on the whistling tea cups, I received a message from my aunt Jen saying that she remembered the fun that my siblings and I used to have with the whistling tea cups.

I do too! Every time I look at the sideboard where they are proudly displayed in my home I think fondly of my grandmother and the times we spent visiting my grandparents in Parkers Prairie, Minnesota.

Grandmother was a fairly no-nonsense woman but she had a remarkable sense of humor. She laughed the time my siblings and I set off smoke bombs in her basement. The house must have smelled of sulfur for weeks! She used to laugh so hard when she told that story that tears would well in her eyes.

But the highlight of any visit to the Bergquists of Parkers Prairie, was the day when Grandmother Bergquist would get the small brass key out of the china gravy boat (The gravy boat was from the other set of china that dad had brought her from Korea, is how I always understood it. – My Sister, Mary, inherited that set of china, I believe.) and open the ornate oak china cabinet (with the curved glass doors) that stood against the wall of the dining room. She would take-out four of the china cups, wash and dry then and set them out on the table with Grape Kool Aid in them.

My sister, brothers, and I would get cookies and Kool Aid and have the most fun at a little "tea party" acting all grown up and sipping from the cups to see who could make the best bird sounds. Afterward, we'd watch as Grandma washed and dried the cups and returned the key to the gravy boat atop the now relocked cabinet.

Our ritual completed, we would then head-out to play in the park, explore the gardens, see who could walk furthest along the rails of the Soo Line tracks that ran through the lot behind our grandparents house, or wander up to the main street of the town and see what wonderful ways there were to spend our allowance at Wally Block's store. It really was like something out of one of those sappy childhood remembrance novels.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you're making your own fond memories today!

Don Bergquist – March 21, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA


Anonymous said...

Hi Don - The china cabinet you wrote of is in my home and is my most treasured item from my grandmother Bergquist, who passed away in 1959 when I was just a young girl. I also have some of her special pieces that I loved to look at when I was a child. Memories are the real treasures in life. Grandma and I would also visit Wally Block's store and if I was really lucky we would go to Hook Anderson's cafe for ice cream (yes he had a hook hand). Have a great day.

Don Bergquist said...

Hey, Auntie Jen!

(I know it is Auntie Jen because who else would have Grandma's China Cabinet?)

I guess it has been too long since I have visited! If I ever knew that you had inherited that china cabinet, I had forgotten. Though, after I posted that, Mary told me that it was in your home.

I guess I can call it “Grandma’s China Cabinet” with impunity as we both remember it belonging to our grandmothers. One question though, do you still keep the key in a gravy boat atop the cabinet? To keep the younger generations out when they are not welcome to it…