Tuesday, November 11, 2014

wooden spoons.

making Malt-O-Meal with Noni's wooden spoon
After Papa passed away, and Noni had been gone from us for two years or so, it was time to go through their hard-earned belongings, deciding what to keep, deciding who wanted what, what was to be sold and what was to be donated.

This was no simple task. Noni and Papa had a lot of stuff. Like, a lot a lot. It took months of sorting and organizing and remembering and crying and laughing and reminiscing. After the "valuable" items had been gone through and divvied up among the kids (the kids being my mom and her three siblings, and then on to us grandkids) it was time to hold an Estate Sale. As we were readying for it we had to go through all of their daily household items...kitchen gadgets, sewing notions, tools, paintings, linens, books...and decide what was to be sold and what was to be donated. Essentially, we were figuring out what held value, and what didn't. For me, this question turned out to be relative.

Value, as it turns out, holds different meaning for me. Some of my favorite treasures are everyday items from Noni's kitchen that I ended up taking on a whim...a set of Pyrex bowls, the yellow one that I use almost daily...an oval cutting board that serves as a backdrop to her old glass canisters that now sit on my countertop and hold sustenance for my family...and her dented aluminum salt and pepper shakers that I swear make food taste better when I use them. Especially soup.

But the items that are quite possibly my favorite are a handful of her wooden spoons. They were overlooked and in the donation pile. On a whim I grabbed them and took them home, adding them to my own crock of much used wooden utensils.

It wasn't until I pulled one out one day to use while cooking dinner that I noticed something. One edge of Noni's wooden spoon had been worn down to an angle...the exact angle I was holding it at to stir the food I was preparing. And it made me happy...to imagine Noni standing at her stove, as I was standing at mine, preparing food for her family, as I was mine, and stirring with that very spoon. We were connected.

Who knew something as simple and mundane as an old wooden spoon could be so special? Or that the sight of that yellow Pyrex bowl in my dish drainer would make me smile each time I see it. But every time I see that cheery yellow, or use the spoons, it's as if Noni is right there with me...in my kitchen, spending time, doing one of the many things that we had in common...taking good care of our families.

Value...it's a relative term, isn't it? What one person may see as old and useless could mean the world to someone else. To think I almost overlooked these everyday items of Noni's...and now they are some of my most treasured possessions.

Thank you, Noni...for everything. I miss you every day.


Jennifer said...

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. As my Grandparents health has been failing, I think of this, of how many things I couldn't bear for our family to let go of. Simple things really. In fact, I could move my body right over to their house and not change a thing.

Know you are missing your Noni everyday.

Denise said...

you are so fortunate to have had a wonderful relationship with your grandma.