Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hanging On

In my head, I know I should throw this spoon rest away. In my heart, I'm still clinging to it.

The spoon rest has no monetary value whatsoever. But it came from my Grandma Neelly's kitchen.

If you ever watch any of those TLC or HGTV organization shows, the experts are always telling people they shouldn't attach "memories" to "things."

And while it's true I'll have wonderful memories of my time in Grandma Neelly's kitchen without this spoon rest, it served as a daily reminder, something that said "Grandma" to me at a glance.

She didn't even use it as a spoon rest. It hung on a nail at her kitchen window. After my grandparents died, we had a chance to browse through the kitchen cabinets and dresser drawers for mementos. This is something I chose because it was cornflower blue, my favorite color since I was a little girl and the color I chose for my grownup kitchen. Plus, it was something she liked well enough to have in her window while she washed dishes and tidied the kitchen after yet another meal.

This grandmother wasn't known for her expensive taste. When she chose a memento to bring home to the grandkids from a trip, it was usually something like a plastic snow globe with Pioneer Village emblazoned on it or a plastic coin purse from the Royal Gorge.

I have no idea where she got the spoon rest, and I have no illusions it would have been Antique Roadshow material, even before the mishap yesterday morning.

I had already glued it together once. But I'm afraid yesterday morning's escapade is going to force me to finally throw it away. I was hurrying around trying to get bread dough made for a 4-H cooking project meeting at the church. I had several bowls of rising dough on my cooktop, along with a Crock Pot filled with a roast beef dinner for later.

Somehow with all my shifting around on the cooktop, I inadvertently turned on a burner. By the time I noticed the burning smell, the damage was done.

I have other spoon rests on my kitchen countertop, and they don't have the same sentimental value. Why couldn't it have been one of those?

In my head, I understand where the experts are coming from. I don't need a spoon rest to remind me of my Grandma's homemade angel food cakes, scrumptious chicken and noodles or green apple pies. I will remember the nights watching the Wonderful World of Disney and getting to eat chicken pot pies on TV trays. I will remember popcorn popped on the stovetop and served in brightly-colored metal bowls. I will remember family dinners around the big dining room table. I will remember gathering eggs with Grandpa and peering at new baby chicks warmed under a light in the chicken house. I will remember the thrill of having coffee liberally laced with milk in the mornings after an overnight stay and feeling so grown-up.

If I really was serious about preserving memories, I would have snatched up the tacky black and silver candy dish on their counter. Without fail, we grandkids would rush in the backdoor and raise the lid of the candy dish to see what treat was hidden inside.

So, I know I don't need this little memento. But forgive me if I am a little sad about it.

Still, I have another glimpse of Grandma's house. This little kitty playing the piano also sat in her kitchen window.

I collect pianos, so it was one of the first things I chose from their house.

Again, I'm sure it has no monetary value. Still, I think I'll keep it far, far away from my cooktop. It can stay on a living room shelf, carefully away from harm.


  1. In my opinion, don't you dare throw it away. It's her - and now, for your kids, it's you. I have a Christmas tree ornament that my dad got in Germany. There is barely anything left of it, but I put it out every year and smile at the duck with just a head and no beak! There is a difference between being a hoarder and a spoon rest that is a connection to your heritage. The things my parents HAD, I got rid of. The things my parents used and loved, were / are special.

  2. Thanks, Jen! Your response brought tears to my eyes (AGAIN - since I had tears yesterday morning, too).

  3. I can't believe you had a "before" picture!! Were you already thinking of a blog for it before the mishap??

  4. I didn't have a before picture. The 1st photo is right side up. The 2nd one is the back.

  5. You're right-- you don't need the spoon rest, but I get sentimental about things I inherited from family so I know how you feel.

  6. Just saw that you shared this link. I'm so sorry about your spoon rest :( What a fun piano, such a neat thing to collect.