My mom’s kitchen table was always neat and orderly. She usually had a table runner or a nice table cloth on it and something decorative in the center of the table. Then at meal times, we would move the centerpiece and fold up the table cloth and get the table ready for the meal. Following the meal when the table was cleared the nice cloth and centerpiece would be back on the table again.
For a number of years Mom used this McCoy wishing well as a centerpiece on the kitchen table. Usually she would have a plant cutting rooting in it.
When she decided that she didn’t want to use the wishing well any more, she gave it to me. I took it to school and used it on my desk as a pencil holder when I was teaching fifth grade. One day we had an accident and the wishing well somehow got knocked off my desk and smashed. I felt really bad about it because of the memories of Mom and the kitchen table, but I was going to throw the pieces away. One of my students, Heidi, told me insistently that her grandparents like to repair broken figurines and they would be glad to glue these pieces together for me. I was very skeptical but I let Heidi have the pieces, which were many and seemed like rubble.
Sure enough, the day came when Heidi triumphantly returned the wishing well, glued together into one whole. Of course upon close examination all the seams could be seen. I was very impressed and grateful that Heidi’s grandparents who didn’t know me would take all that time to repair the well.
Meanwhile, another friend, Skip, found another McCoy well for sale and bought it for me. I’ve had the well put away for some time now, keeping it safe, but now, thinking about the kitchen table memories, I decided to get it out again and put it on my own table. Perhaps I will do as Mom did and use it to root plant cuttings.
The little wishing well now reminds me of Mom and her kitchen, and Heidi and her grandparents, and Skip, who cared enough to help me preserve my mom’s little well.