Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Measuring Spoons

A spoonful of memories, in my kitchen.
I rooted around in the kitchen drawers, not knowing what I was looking for. It was a hot, humid Saturday last summer, and my siblings and I were in the midst of an estate sale at our family home, a home that had accumulated stuff for more than 60 years. In the sweaty, hard work, it was easy to let our memories go for pennies on the dollar.  "It's just stuff. It's all gonna burn in the end," I reminded myself.  And I certainly didn't need more "stuff" in my own home. 

And yet, still...as housewares passed from family to strangers, memories flickered in my head like movie trailers. 

Not everything was put out for sale. Remnants of our life could be found at every turn. Little things...my dad's knife sharpener, old Christmas wrapping paper, an ancient, heavy stapler, and even things you can't sell
nor would anyone buy –  like the particular smell of the basement, triggered vague, familiar feelings and images. In one drawer, a set of cheap aluminum measuring spoons, still held together by a little chain at the top of their handles, lay among the flotsam. I grabbed them to take home with me. These measuring spoons helped make chocolate chip cookies, homemade breads, and Sunday morning coffee cake. They helped make birthday cakes and the frosting to top them.  These spoons were gold to me, certainly worth more than the quarter someone might toss at us for it today. They helped make life taste good. 

Now they hang on a hook in my kitchen where I can use them again and be reminded that treasured memories are often made up of the seemingly mundane things we do in our lives every day. It's in doing "small things with great love," as Mother Teresa said, that let's you look back and smile. Little things matter.

5 comments:

Diane L Hoeptner said...

Dang, Pat.  You've been busy!  LOVE all the new artist interviews.  This bit about the spoons is wonderful.  Write on!! 

Pat Washington said...

 Thanks, Di! Yes, things have settled down just a bit in my little world, which gives me the time to concentrate on fun things like writing and hobnobbing with artists. :-)  Thanks for stopping by.

Marilyn Leslie said...

Wonderful essay evoking memories of baking with Mom, or trying to bake cookies before my husband and my brother ate all the cookie dough.

Dan Erickson said...

Those are sacred measuring spoons. Hold onto them. It's funny what things really wind up having significance in the long run.

Pat Washington said...

 Thanks for stopping by, Dan. I am holding on to them. They have a special hook in my kitchen.