We had moved into our new home after a long and tiring packing of our old house. I had just about had enough of boxes, lifting them, packing paper, and bubble wrap. There is only so much a woman can handle in a few short weeks before she needs a break, and I was there. I knew exactly what I wanted and needed to do, make a really nice supper for the whole family, oh and me.
I got out the meat. I got out the vegetables. I even got the potatoes ready to peel and began the fun process of trying to find just the right pots, pans and bowl I would need. So far so good. Finding the large post was easy. That boxed had been marked clearly. Finding the bowls, plates, even the silverware was easy too. That box was clearly marked. So I started making this fine meal I had planned in my head. I was even going to clear off all the partially emptied boxes and debris from the table so we could all eat together.
Everything was going well until I thought about that special spoon. The silver one we ALWAYS used for mashed potatoes. Surely it was in with the rest of the silverware.
One of the other kitchen boxes?
Then it hit me. I'd lost the spoon! Not just any spoon, a special family pass-it-down-comfort-giving spoon! It was a symbol of all is well in our home and back to normal. It was what everyone recognized from the time they were very little and on. I could tell any one of my guys to get out the mashed potatoes spoon and he knew exactly which spoon it was, the same as my brothers, and my Dad, even my Grandpa!
You're probably thinking "It's JUST a spoon!" And you would be correct. It is just a spoon. We could easily use any other serving spoon we own and the meal would taste the same and be just as nice in our new home.
But you would also be wrong. It's not JUST a spoon. It's a legacy. It's a family tradition. It's a holder of memories, special memories. It was there in our first house with our first meal together 30 years ago in 1984. It was there the day I graduated from high school in 1977. It was there for my Mom's and Dad's 25th wedding anniversary party in 1971. It was there when my Grandmother and Grandfather got married as a wedding present in 1924. It's a spoon full of very special memories of very special people and events!
Days, weeks and then months went by. Every now and then I would think about the spoon. As my husband and I slowly sorted through many years of our life and emptied box after box and decluttered our home I kept hoping that I would discover that spoon siting in some random box as an after though when it had been packed.
I even went to the point of asking several people who could look in our old house and at the church we had left on the chance that the spoon might have fallen out of something or absently been left in the church after a carry-in dinner. They didn't find it.
And then I got the chance, just a random opportunity. Hadn't planned on it, but I got to go see my old house. It was in the middle of being remodeled. It looked so different. Carpeting had been torn out. I knew there had been nice wooden floors under there! Plasterboard had been removed from the ceiling to do some repairs. It looked so different.
When I entered the kitchen, I just had to. I had to take a look in the old cupboards and drawers just in case. Maybe that spoon had fallen out of something or behind something.
Every drawer came out to peek behind. As I pulled out the very last drawer the friend of mine who was with me said she saw something. So did I. It was a small box of zipper plastic bags. I reached far back in the cubbyhole and pulled out the box and loose bags and as I did, there was something metal there.
Oh, just a small everyday teaspoon.
Then I saw something dark and I thought metal, but I wasn't sure. I stretched my arm back as far as I could in the cubbyhole. Whatever it was had reached the farthest point back as anything could go without disappearing into the wall.
My spoon! My Mom's spoon. My Grandma's spoon. Dirty, dusty, and extremely tarnished from over a year of neglect, but there it was and then quickly in my hand! I was thrilled. My friend was thrilled. She knew how important that spoon was to me.
When I got home I could hardly wait till I told my husband. He was not near as thrilled as I had been. I really didn't expect him to be. He didn't need to be, I was excited enough for both of us. But the spoon was home in our new home for all the new memories it would hold.
We'll keep using that spoon for mashed potatoes. I never had girls, so I don't have someone directly to pass it along to. I am hoping for some daughters-in-law someday and one of then will receive this memorable spoon. I'll share with her the memories, the stories, and how special it is in hopes that the memories will continue on for many, many more years.
It's just a spoon.
And then it's not!
© Lois A. Jones 2014. All Right Reserved.