Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Gaye Buzzo Dunn
It was Christmas morning, 2011. The odd shaped package was the last one under the tree. A light snow covered the ground-—a true New England Christmas. I sat in my favorite chair enjoying the annual ritual of sipping hot coffee while opening delivered gifts from my scattered family.
Relaxing, sipping, looking out at the snow, I was grateful to be the mother of a loving and caring family. The unusual gift was from my grandson, Will.
My hands ripped through layers of holiday paper, felt something hard inside. Freed from the paper, polished brass shone in the early morning lamplight. Oh my goodness, it was the bell! Tears slipped from my surprised eyelids while my hands caressed the clean, polished brass—only a tiny indent left on its side.
Will and I were together during a brief family visit one crisp October day in Payson, Arizona. We were browsing through town taking in various antique stores when I noticed a bell near the entrance way hanging from the ceiling. Dented, dusty, smudged, the brass dulled by age, it was a jingle bell exactly like the one Mom hung in our house every Christmas Eve back in the fifties. The "Jingle Bells" tune tinkled from the bell every time the clangor was pulled. As kids and adults, we loved that bell.
Years of memories revolved around it. Taped to the archway between Mom's kitchen and living room, that traditional melody played softly through our house every Christmas Eve while we munched home-made cookies, exchanged gifts and spent family time together. After Mom died, I hung the bell in the alcove in my own home until over time it was misplaced and lost.
However, I was flabbergasted that another bell exactly like the bell Mom purchased so long ago in New York was found many years later in Arizona.
Where a dirty, dusty and dull bell once hung in an Arizona shop, I held in my hands a brightly polished brass bell with a barely visible dent in its side. Cherishing this very special gift from my grandson, I hung it between my kitchen and dining area that Christmas. I pulled the clangor often when I walked by during that holiday season. When the holidays ended, I began packing away the decorations sad to see the season end. Reaching for the bell, my hands stopped in mid-air.
It's now June, 2012 and the bell is still hanging. I never took it down. When the days are warm and the windows are open, you can hear the bell's melody peal through the house, the soft tinkle reaching the outside deck. When the bell plays, I remember those special days when our extended families spent holiday times together. I pull the cord and smile as I walk by.
Brief Biography: Gaye Buzzo Dunn, a former business manager previously employed by large and small, public and private corporations, is a writer residing in upstate New York. For more information on Gaye and her previously published work, you can reach her at her writer blog:
Gaye Buzzo Dunn, a former business manager previously employed by large and small, public and private corporations, is a writer residing in upstate New York. For more information on Gaye and her previously published work, you can reach her at her writer blog:
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