Jill's Journal:Grandma’s candy jar filled with sweet treats and childhood memories

Jill Meier, Journal Editor

On my desk, less than a foot away from me, sits a clear glass candy jar filled with assorted fruit candies.

It’s not always full, but for now, it is, until of course, those candies “mysteriously” disappear.

When you look at the candy jar itself, one would probably surmise there’s really nothing very special about it, other than sugary goodness that’s inside of it.

But when I look at the candy jar, to me, it’s filled with years of memories. You see, it was my grandmother’s candy jar.

As a kid, I plunged my hand into that jar more times than I could probably count back then. And as a kid, there was rarely a visit to grandma’s that the candy jar was empty, which as one may predict, was an obvious disappointment to a kid excited for whatever its contents may be.

At Easter, grandma would have it loaded with colorful jelly beans. And by the time all of her grandchildren filed out the door from our family Easter gathering, the jar had likely been plucked clean as a chicken on butchering day of all of the jelly beans.

In between holidays, grandma would fill it with burnt peanuts, chocolate-covered peanuts, Anise candy, Hershey’s Kisses or whatever sweet treat caught her eye while perusing the candy aisle. 

Come Halloween, you can bet it would be filled with candy corn, not so much my favorite – both then and now – but still worth a hand or two into the jar.

By Thanksgiving, grandma’s candy jar would be filled with ribbon candy and was restocked many times leading up to Christmas and beyond. Perhaps some of you more “youthful” readers aren’t as familiar with ribbon candy, but to me, that candy was some of the best. Ribbon candy came in a smattering of colors and flavors, and you never really knew what you were going to get until the sugary goodness was coating your taste buds. Mint, cherry, anise, lime and the list of flavors go on and on.

When grandma passed away 14 years ago, her wishes were not to sell all of her belongings at auction. Instead, she wanted her family to pick and choose what they wanted. After that process, the rest was boxed up and sent home with us, leaving the final decision as what to keep, what to donate or what to throw. And that’s how grandma’s candy jar ended up on my desk about a foot away from me. It was packed in one of the boxes that came to our family, and with no one “fighting” me for it, I claimed it, mostly for the sweet memories it invokes.

Today, I fill it from time to time – when the spirit moves me in the candy aisle, just like grandma – but oftentimes, it sits empty. No matter if it’s full to the brim with candy treats or empty as empty can be, it’s a simple reminder of grandma and the love she had to satisfy us all with one – or shall we say several – sweet treats at a time. 



The Brandon Valley Journal


The Brandon Valley Journal
1404 E. Cedar St.
Brandon, SD 57005
(605) 582-9999

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