Recently on a visit to my mother's home, she and I were looking through a drawer in her china cabinet and ran across a box of abandoned silver flatware. The tarnish on every piece was dark enough to hide the bright silver beneath; indeed its' identity was, at first, in question. My Uncle Doyle chose this flatware service as a gift to Mama and Daddy early in their marriage. Uncle Doyle was such a gracious Southern gentleman who found his niche in service to his country in the U.S. Army, and made it his career. He was smart, articulate and above all "military" to the core of his being. He found himself very comfortable in company among the country folk where he grew up or conversely at an elegant affair in his officer's duds. His taste in most things I never disputed or found disagreeable to my own preference, even as a child. As an adult, I can see the proper side of my dear uncle and appreciate his love for beauty in all things. He was a charming man that I miss, still.
I love digging around Antique stores and consignment shops in search of odd pieces of silverware. It's a successful shopping day when I can rescue an aging piece, dull with neglect and polish it lovingly. And that's just what I did when I returned home with my box of treasure. I polished every piece and in the process, experienced such a rush of memories. I wanted to use a fork to eat something right there on the spot. It was knowing that these things came from a time long since gone. A welcome reflection back to the kitchen of my childhood home and the four of us together.
I could just see Daddy using one of the knives to scoop mayonnaise from a jar, load it onto a saltine cracker, then blacken it with pepper and pop it into his mouth. That was his very favorite snack. Or my brother tapping his fork on the side of his plate in a vain attempt to delay the inevitable admonition from Mama to eat his squash. I can't tell you how many times he coerced me into eating his squash, when Mama and Daddy had left us to finish our dinner. But I love squash anyway, so a favor for him was more squash for me.
|Coronation Salad Fork|
I placed each piece in my silverware drawer in its fitting place. And since that time I more often reach for the memory; a fork, a spoon, a knife that lives again in my kitchen. I love having that choice.