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Just A Spoon

When one thinks of keepsakes, things like jewelry come to mind - unique things, fancy things, expensive things... not things as simple as a wooden spoon.  And yet the wooden spoon pictured above is one of my most precious keepsakes. It is old and worn thin from use, and upon closer inspection you would see that it has a tiny chip on the front edge of the bowl and the beginning of a hairline crack.  I don't use it anymore, but I once did, as did my mother, and her mother before her! It is that history of women working in the kitchen that makes this spoon precious.

I do not know how old the spoon is, but very likely seventy-five years, and possibly more.  I don't know when my grandmother obtained it, if it was a wedding gift or something passed down to her, or just something she purchased out of necessity, but a necessity it was.  In the days before electric mixers most baking was done with the help of a wooden spoon. My mother learned cooking and baking skills by helping her mother, and my sisters and I in turned learned from her... starting when we were very small with simple tasks like sifting flour and helping to stir it into the batter with the wooden spoon. This spoon has been used and washed hundred and hundreds of times; it would be fun to have a list of all the things it's helped prepare, my favorite being mom's chocolate chip cookie recipe that is also one of my son's favorites now.

I have other wooden spoons that I use when baking, but they are cheaply made with round dowel handles and shallow bowls; they do not feel the same, and there is not the sense of tradition that came with using my mother's wooden spoon.  Hers is too fragile to use now, too precious to risk it splitting and breaking.  I brought it home with me when I returned from my mom's funeral in 1995, and it resides in a place of honor in our china cabinet along with her set of Desert Rose dishes. Long ago it was just an ordinary hard-working wooden spoon but now it is a treasured keepsake that stirs up precious memories in my heart.

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This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are lucky and keepsakeA

20 comments:

  1. Priceless!!

    The spoon, and the story.

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  2. Lovely. You treasure the spoon the way i treasure my grandmother's cast iron. It's a blessing to have these things.

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    1. I remember my mother loving her mother's cast iron cookware too, Mimi!

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  3. How lovely....I have a spoon from childhood that I cherish as well....its great to have something so utilitarian that every generation has used....makes it more special

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    1. Very cool, Zoe! Yes, I am not a great one for keeping lots of material things, but we need a few items that share our connection to generations past. I love wrapping my hand around that spoon and realizing the others that have left their imprint also!

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  4. That's very cool! I always think of the cakes and things that were made with the wooden spoons, when I see them in a drawer in my house, but they are just ordinary ones. Great story! : )

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    1. You are right, Joseph... a wooden spoon is a sure sign of something good to eat! I'm glad you liked the story!

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  5. Terrific piece! My house is full of ancient bits and pieces, treasured and held on to despite their obsolescence now. My prize possession is a wooden spokeshave with hand-made iron blade that is about 200 years old now.
    I inherited it from my father. The blade still takes an edge and it can be used as well as when it was new.

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    1. Wow, Altonian, that wonderful piece has seen some life, think of the stories it could tell!

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  6. What a beautiful post. Just like Altonian above I to have bits and pieces that I inherited from family members which are a link to the past. Most of them have no value except to say..."remember?"

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    1. Thank you, Old Egg! I like such things because they connect us to those memories that are engraved in our hearts. They are reminders of times past that were sweet and good. But I suspect that most such items will not have that appeal to our children and will end up in a sale somewhere. Such is life, we all carry our own memories.

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  7. I know just how you feel. I have my mother's wooden spoon. It is about 70 years old. She not only used it for baking it was her paddle. A swat on the butt with the spoon and we knew to change direction. We even "chewed" on it before we had teeth. We are blessed to have these keepsakes. No monetary value but they fill the heart beyond measure.

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    1. I love this Patricia... that surely made it a multi-purpose spoon. You are far from the only child who ever learned right from wrong with a bit of redirection administered by the wooden spoon! Mom's tend to use what is at hand! :-) My wooden spoon makes me smile every time I look at it, that's a pretty great thing for a retired spoon to do!

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  8. I own very few things that can be described as "just a..."! Paring down over the years. I'm so glad to read this on my late mother's birthday (also Einstein, and 3/14 is "Pi Day" (get it? 3.14...)

    Mama handed down things to me that no one else wanted. The yellow hard plastic orange squeezer, 40 years old and works like new. My favorite bowl for marinating chicken. She was not one for wooden spoons, but then, she wasn't much into cooking!

    Thanks for a happy few tears! I mean it. Amy

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    1. Happy Birthday thoughts going out to your Mom's spirit, Amy! I smiled at your juicer and bowl. These little every-day items take on such meaning when they connect us to precious memories, and it's fun to use them! I lived too far from home to help go thru most of my mom's things, and my dad's after they passed, which is probably a good thing or my house would need even more space! Now, even the simple glass jars my mother kept her powdered sugar and brown sugar in would be keepsakes, she used them all of her life, yet they most likely once came with something in them. I love how things take on significance as the years pass!

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  9. We too have a wooden spoon that is my favorite to use when cooking. I doubt it is quite as old as yours, but it is well worn and "comfortable".

    I hope to join in Two Shoes Tuesday this week. I am putting on my thinking cap and hopefully can write something nice tonight. I want to write more, but am always hesitant that it is not good enough.

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    1. Hi Martha! I love that several of us have kitchen utensils that "feel good" when we are cooking and baking. It is the familiar things such as this that make a house a home! One would not think a spoon would wear out stirring things, but they sure do! :-)

      I would love to see you join us at Two Shoes Tuesday. Please don't worry about it being "good enough"... that is a common issue with most of us, and I work hard to make sure that we keep it a friendly place where everyone can come and share without feeling critiqued. The idea is to give us some writing exercise and to enjoy the fun of exchanging our efforts on a common theme. Just be yourself and write to please you, and I'm certain we'll enjoy what we read! :-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)