The next six weeks are traditionally reserved for holidays around families. While being single and never married means I don’t have my own little fireplace gathering (as if we need fireplaces in South Florida), I still have family to spend the holidays with.
Despite many tales of cheer revolving around my family that remains, today’s post will be about a couple of those “from Christmas Past”, so to speak.
That self-same state of being single allows me the freedom and opportunity to keep the gifts that keep on giving long past the time when a (properly) concession-based marriage might make me part with them.
For example, my Grandma provided me with many things when I moved into my first “place of my own”. The most immediately useful was a pile of towels; bath and hand towels of higher quality than is easy to find these days (and without those annoying dobby affectations).
That was around 30 years ago. I still have those towels, though they are now used for my cleaning around the house.
When I was teeny-tiny, my Grandma would cut my nails for me. Along with those towels, Grandma gave me those scissors. I have never needed another pair. I don’t know how long she owned the scissors before me, but I can guarantee they are at least 50 years old…and I have never had to sharpen them once.
Just like Grandma, they last long beyond normal physical expectations (if not for Grandma’s mind, I expect her body would still be around today).
Mom was a little different, passing before her time (at least if fate had ever asked my opinion). Still, when I made that aforementioned move, Mom gave me an entire set of china, one of a couple of fine sets she had. Her only command was that I actually use them, rather than store them in a closet for “special” occasions.
I agreed and disagreed. I use them for everything and every time I use them is special, because I think of Mom.
Mind you, these are seriously nice dishes. I can’t even use them in the microwave because of the silver filigree around the edges (zap!). But there I am, 30 years later, with the same set of plates, dishes, bowls and accessories that Mom provided. Staggeringly, the design work doesn’t show the test of time…appearing much the same as it did decades past.
I like to think that I have the best of both worlds, practicality (if it ain’t broke…) and sentimentality, but I expect I would have had to replace all of these items years ago had I been sharing my life with someone (or perhaps my kids would have broken enough dishes that I needed to replace them).
Yet, here we are at another holiday season and though my Mom and Grandma aren’t here in life, their presence every holiday has always extended well after death.