Breakfast with My Grandfather

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.

Tarnished silverware

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!)

Magic Pan

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.

Magic Pan at work


Which is exactly what happened. The pieces were beautiful!

cleaned silverware

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.



I am a mother of two sets of twins and a singleton. I explore the wild world of multiples and provide resources for other parents of multiples.
1 comment
  1. There’s often this idea that special things should be saved, put away, protected and only brought out for “occasions” because we fear losing or damaging them, but this post is a great reminder of why using them regularly and allowing kids to use them (despite the risk that a spoon or three might magically disappear!) brings out their true value.

    Something that comes to mind from my great-grandmother was her rolling pin! Heavy and seasoned with decades of use, it far surpasses any other I’ve found and I love baking with it when I’m at my mother’s house.

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