I’ve been having breakfast with my Grandfather Joe. Every morning.
Not literally, as this proud Hungarian died nearly 30 years ago.
But my grandfather was a collector and he went to estate sales before they became the popular thing to do. He picked up all sorts of treasures and descending into his basement/garage was always a chance to have one of his latest treasures revealed. One of the things he bought from estate sales was silverware–the kind that tarnishes if it isn’t used consistently.
When I was in college and had my first apartment, I remember taking some of that silverware with me. Twelve years later I passed it on to my youngest brother, Jon, who was venturing off to college himself. When Jon graduated I asked for the plates I had given him and the silverware back. Well, when I got married (and registered for new silverware and dishes) I must have packed up Grandpa’s silverware.
Just a few weeks ago. . .I found the box of silverware. And although tarnished with over 14 years of being packed away. . .they were still lovely and seemed almost delicate in their size and weight.
I also tucked away with the silverware I found this funny thing called “Maggie Pan” that I had purchased at an estate sale when we lived in New Jersey. (Yes, I LOVE estate sales, too!)
It is a pan made out of magnesium and you fill it with water and a little detergent and then add your silverware. Amazingly the tarnish comes right off.
Which is exactly what happened. The pieces were beautiful!
I know that I have five kids and something like these forks and spoons and knives should be preserved. . . but I just couldn’t store them away again, and I added them to the mix of Oneida silverware I have in the cutlery drawer.
So every morning, I make the kids a bowl of cereal and I hand them one of these spoons. And, I make myself a bowl of yogurt and I grab another spoon and we all have breakfast with Grandpa Joe.
I can’t think of a good enough reason to put this little bit of family history back into hiding. Every time I open my silverware drawer the forks and spoons and knives mixed with everything else in the drawer makes me smile–and I think of Grandpa Joe.
I’d love to hear if you’ve ever “found” anything from your grandparents–or other relatives–that are now part of your daily life.