This little glass dish may appear to be empty, but it's actually full of childhood memories. It used to sit on my grandmother's dresser, where it held hairpins and bobby pins at her fingertips when she swept up her hair each morning.
My grandmother also had a large, heavy, V-shaped magnet, and I loved to play with the magnet and the bowl of bobby pins. I would dump the pins out on Mammaw's bedroom floor and arrange them into an elaborate design, only to eradicate the whole thing a minute later with one grand sweep of the powerful magnet. Then I'd do it all over again. And again and again.
(It occurs to me as I'm writing this that I can only think of one other thing that fascinated me in a scientific way as much as magnetic attraction did when I was a child. That other thing would be the way mercury from a broken thermometer spilled out onto the floor and formed tiny silver balls that we rolled around with our fingertips one long afternoon, smashing the larger balls into many smaller ones, just as round, then pushing the tiny balls back together to form a large ball again. No child would be allowed to play with mercury today, but if that exposure harmed me in any way, I'm not aware of it. Then again, maybe that could explain a thing or two.)
I don't know what happened to my grandmother's big magnet, but the pretty glass bowl came home with me after she passed away. I'm glad to have it as a reminder of those times and as a link between her life and mine. To make things even better, I have this picture (taken in 1950) of Mammaw doing her hair, the little glass dish on the dresser in front of her:
(Click photo to enlarge.)