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Archive for April, 2018

The Photographs

I have spent part of a long winter cleaning out cupboards, nooks, and crannies, and have come to the conclusion that I am a hoarder. I come by this naturally, being the product of parents who lived through the depression years. My genetics are a mixture of a woman who saved every plastic container and reused her foil to a man who seemingly never threw ANYTHING away, squirreling it away in attic and basement. I know this to be a fact, as I did a lot of the cleaning out and sorting after they passed away. Admittedly, much of it ended up in my house. After sorting through an old dresser, I dug out shiny metal belt and a celluloid framed picture of my dad’s Aunt Jennie, wearing the same belt with a purple skirt, circa 1940. Since I can’t seem to throw anything away either, I remembered and found an old photo of me wearing the same skirt for my sixth grade operetta, The King’s Sneezes, circa 1970. If memory serves me right, I wore the belt under the costume’s apron. My mother managed to hit the camera shutter just at the moment I closed my eyes. In 1970, when it came to pictures, you got what you got. That, along with a hundred other bad photographs of me in various albums is the story of my life. I like to look back on these, so I’m not ready to throw them away, although after I’m gone, I hope someone tosses the least photogenic pictures in the fireplace and keeps the rest. That means there will only be about five, but I sure will look good. I don’t know whatever happened to that purple skirt. It would have been nice to hang on to and store it along with the belt and two photographs: One of an educated, world traveller who was ahead of her time and who viewed the world with her eyes wide open; the other a gawky twelve-year-old who learned to open her eyes and travel a very different road with the prayers and the strength of the women who came before her.

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The Silver Spoon

They dined on mince and slices of quince, which they ate with a runcible spoon; and hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon.” ~Edward Lear

My mother kept a small silver spoon in the back of her silverware drawer. I don’t remember that we ever used it, and I hardly paid attention until she died and we were cleaning out her apartment. There it was: That little spoon, which I now noted had the name “Anna” engraved on the handle. Now I know why she saved it, so I saved it too, for no other reason than Anna was the grandmother I never met. After admiring and running my fingers over the engraving, I tossed it in the back of my silverware drawer. Like mother, like daughter. I have no idea what the spoon was used for. Although it is small, it is too big to be an old-fashioned salt spoon, so by my best guess, it is either for sugar or jelly. I don’t eat sugar, and HIS favorite jelly is grape and gets squirted out of a plastic bottle, so needless to say, it hasn’t been used. After falling asleep and regretfully missing last night’s rare blue moon, I got up early this morning to make deviled eggs for the family Easter dinner. I was rummaging through the kitchen drawers trying to find a spoon small enough to stuff the eggs. Some of you might think that because I am a Farm Woman who writes a weekly blog, I must make picture-perfect deviled eggs by using a time-honored family recipe, putting the stuffing in a plastic bag, snipping off a corner, and piping perfect dollops of egg yolk into the white. Wrong. I don’t use a recipe. I just add yolks, not too much mayonnaise, a bit of mustard, a dash of this and a splash of that until it tastes right. I make extra eggs just for the tasting, by the way. I once tried the plastic bag method and ended up not dolloping but squirting yolk all over the place. It was a hot mess. Now, I just needed a spoon that was not too small and not too big, and it was 6:00 a.m., which is not unusual for bunnies or church musicians on any given Easter morning, even an Easter morning that follows a blue moon and lands on April Fool’s Day. My fingers landed on Anna’s spoon. Perfect. It was a little tarnished, but so is Anna’s granddaughter, so I shrugged, rinsed it off, and finished the job in no time with only a little bit of a mess, which I licked off my fingers, because it was six in the morning and nobody was watching.

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