Just two miles down the road, there is an antiques store with 9,000 square feet jam-packed with assorted, once-loved-and-just-waiting-to-be-again treasures. Unfortunately, most days, I have too many things on my to-do list to dare enter. At least, I know myself well enough not to risk it… because once inside, the item I came in search of is quickly relegated to the back corners of my mind, and I’m overcome with sentimentality and a slowed-down-like-molasses pace. I notice the kitchen canisters just like Gram’s, the beautiful turn-of-the-century (20th — not 21st!) china cabinets similar to Grandma’s, aluminum tumblers like the colorful ones I used at my great-grandmother’s house, the Barbie case like my mom’s that I played with, too… and then my like-minded Molly is pointing out a typewriter or nut grinder that she would just loooovvve to have, “Pleeaasse!”, and begging to go in the back room to try on 60’s-mod clothes, pointing out flowery, hippie luggage “just like Granny’s!” on her way.
Sometimes we do enter with a purpose and walk out (albeit an hour later with a VERY bored 10-year-old boy in tow), mission accomplished. When I was looking for a “new” (to us, ha ha!) vintage wooden box to stack atop the one already by Molly’s bed for the accommodation of all those things that “must” be kept beside the bed, we found something exactly right for our dried fruit-loving daughter, for whom we’ve been buying Craisins by the 3-pound bag since she was about three years old.
This old cranberry crate from Wisconsin would have been in use in the early to middle parts of the last century when, according to Wikipedia, cranberry farmers in our neighboring state formed cooperatives under which to sell and distribute their fruit, which was marketed under the brand of Eatmor. Eatmor Cranberries eventually folded under intense competition with Ocean Spray, a company which was canning most of the cranberries they sourced, unlike Eatmor, which was selling the fresh berries.
Learning a tidbit of the company’s history just endears that box to Molly and me a little more, lovers of the fresh and homemade and farmers, too, that we are. Hopefully, those scraps of labeling will continue to adhere for many more years, reminding us that while some seemingly big things come to pass, it’s oftentimes the little things that endure.