Friday, August 6, 2010

If Only a Fork Could Talk

A trip to our family storage building is always an adventure. What could be a chore for others becomes a magical ride back in time as the door rolls up. On a recent trip, my mother removed two boxes of old canning jars, a dusty cookie tin that was oddly heavy, and my dad’s childhood camping skillet. She delivered them to my house and the stack of treasures sat at my basement door, virtually ignored, for several weeks. (So long that I actually forgot the exact contents.)

Yesterday, I dug into the boxes, washed each jar and set them out to dry. On opening the tin (after several minutes of prying on the lid) I found old, scratched, dented, and very much-loved silver plate flatware. I hand washed each piece and enjoyed every minute.

On picking up a fork, I noticed two initials I didn’t recognize. After calling my parents to investigate just exactly who once owned the set, I learned that it probably belonged to my great-grandmother. I, of course, never met her, but now I can wrap my hand around the silverware she used to serve her meals. It’s almost overwhelming.

I picture my grandfather as a little boy complaining about his vegetables while waving his fork around. I imagine my great-grandfather coming in famished from the farm and to devour supper with place setting now on my counter. It’s hard to have never known these people, my people. I’m sure this silver plate could give me a glimpse into their life around the table. If only a fork could talk.


cherie said...

love this post! my mother-in-law recently passed, and none of the other family members was interested in the old silver. what a treasure trove! i love the old pieces with names (who's eva? no one recalls, but i now have lovely spoons with her name etched in a spidery script) or initials. i'm having such fun including these pieces in photoshoots for my new cookbook.
old silver feels like a story in your hand.

Pam Garrett said...

I've heard that all anyone ever leaves behind is their story. Thanks for reminding me how precious family memories are.

Rebecca Lang said...

I could never turn down family silver. Thank goodness you saved it all. With such rich history in each piece, it's almost like another guest at the table.

Rebecca Lang said...

Thanks for reminding me about leaving behind a story. May we all leave good ones.