It was twilight.

And twilight was turning to dusk as Cliff and I sat down to eat supper.

He said, “Let’s light a candle.”

She said, “Well, that’s a good idea. It’ll look pretty.”


One of us said, “Let’s put the candle into the curio cabinet. The mirrors behind will amplify the light.”

“Okay,” said the other. And so we admire the ambient light illuminating the cups and curios.

“It would look even prettier if we closed the glass door. More shimmer and glisten.”

Just so you know: We have surrounded a lighted candle with irreplaceable china (Dumb)! The deceptively romantic light disguises the fact that the candle flame is heating the upper glass shelf (Dumber than Dumb)! We leave the dining room momentarily to clear the table.

BOOM, BANG, POW—The glass shelf shatters, and shards of glass cascade into the once placid display of nineteen antique cups, some from Grandma Longenecker, some from Mother, and some from the travels of itinerant artist Cliff.


I scream with the first boom. Then I scream louder as I survey the damage. Cups with dismembered handles. Saucers in slices. Family heirlooms gone with a poof!

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Just because a scene looks artistic doesn’t mean it‘s not dangerous.

Just because a candle is seated in a pretty place doesn’t  mean the laws of combustion won’t operate.

What remains:

Doll bell from Mother Mug from Buckingham Palace

Doll bell from Mother & Mug from Buckingham Palace

Japanese teacup from Grandma Annie Metzler

Japanese teacup from Grandma Annie Metzler

And a few more cups and saucers, not pictured.

Have you experienced the loss of family heirlooms? Other losses? What remains of value?

Your comments make me happy, and I will always respond.

Do read My Gutsy Story on author Sonia Marsh’s website:

Rising Above the Pettiness to Focus on the Positive by Marian Beaman

Voting for My Gutsy December 2013 Story begins Jan. 2 and ends Jan. 15, 2014.