This past weekend I did a little antiques shopping. Now to be certain, I’m not an antiques lover. Sure, I appreciate the history of antiques and enjoy learning about their history, but an antique collector I am not.
However, I’ve been on a quest to find some interesting pieces of flatware for my food photography arsenal. Not having much luck at yard sales or flea markets, I thought the next best place to look would be an antiques store.
I found a nice shop off of an old country road with lots of
junk cool stuff strewn all over the front lawn.
The shop didn’t have a musty smell as I anticipated it would. It smelled of apples and cinnamon and had a warmth to it that made me feel all cozy.
I had great fun exploring the different coves which dealers rented to display their wares. Fragile dolls with now yellow and faded lace trim, old time fishing reels, oil paintings in glorious gilded frames, chamber pots, old blue Ball canning jars and of course all kinds of housewares.
At first this was great fun. So much history at my fingertips. But then I started to think about things as I often times do and I got a bit sad.
The lovely yellow earthenware bowl I was flirting with buying…
Whose kitchen did that come from? What did she/he make with it? Chocolate chip cookies? Spice cake? Pie dough?
And who were they baking for? Was it a joy to cook or a chore? Did the kids ask to lick the bowl?
This stuff had a story to tell. It all came from someone’s home, but now it’s on the shelf of an antiques store.
It made me take pause. What about the kids and family members who were the beneficiaries of the meals this stuff was made for? Didn’t they want to pass that grand bowl down to future generations? Wasn’t it a vessel of treasured memories?
Why was it here collecting dust on an old wooden shelf after it gave so much joy and service to others?
Which of course led me to think about my own kitchen stuff….
My KitchenAid. My right hand lady in the kitchen. Will she be valued by my kids or my grandkids? Will anyone in my downline share my passion for cooking and baking?
My collection of muffin tins. Will the kids have fond memories of all the baked goods I’ve created? Enough to keep them off the antique store shelves?
Surely, someone will value my pots and pans that have been used to nourish them all of these years. Right?
And my dear collection of Nordicware pans. Oh, how I enjoy using the different styles to make my baked goods look that much more lovely.
But here’s the thing….
It is quite possible that none of my offspring will acquire my love of crafting in the kitchen. I look at my own mother. While I admire her for many many things, cooking wasn’t one of her skills. It didn’t define her.
Does it define me? Should it? Should I even care where my housewares end up? Antique store, yard sale, eBay, does it really matter?
Part of me says yes. That I hope my kids care enough about that part of my legacy to save those things that I hold so dear. That the memories from those kitchen tools bring back happy memories of gathering around the table with family for a delicious meal.
But another part of me wonders if that’s the legacy they will remember? Will they look at those tools as my passion and not theirs? My kitchen treasures just might have a similar fate to that yellow earthenware bowl that I left behind at the antiques store.
That I will be left behind on the shelves of an antique store for others to look at and wonder about my history.
How about you? Do you feel the same way? Or does it not really matter to you? Do you have any special items that remind you of someone who passed? Do you feel that it’s part of their legacy?