As we sorted through my grandmother’s modest collection of household goods after her death several years ago, my relatives, both young and old puzzled me. They choked up about the most insignificant stuff … little things that anyone could buy at a department store or inexpensive antique shop.
My cousin was busy emptying the kitchen drawer of utensils and cooking tools. She stopped us as we pulled dishes, pots and pan out of cupboards. She held up the scalloped edged circular cookie cutter. Grandma had used it to cut out hundreds of sugar cookies over the years. “Does anyone want this?” a note of awe and hope in her voice.
We looked at her curiously, not responding. Who needed another cookie cutter?
She looked with reverence at the aluminum cookie cutter she held. Disbelief and astonishment laced her voice, “this is grandma.” We paused remembering all the times grandma had bent over the table rolling out cookie dough to cut into perfectly shaped scalloped circles to bake for us.
No one said anything. My cousin broke the silence, “well if no one else wants it, I do.” We didn’t say anything. She protectively placed the cheap aluminum cookie cutter aside to take home with her.
A few minutes later, someone came through with a framed and faded print Grandma had purchased years ago to decorate the sitting room. I only vaguely remembered.
She had a lot of wall hangings.
The inevitable question came, “Does anyone want this?”
I was surprised when couple of folks said, “yes.” All I saw was a faded, outdated cardboard print which had been manufactured and sold by the thousands. They saw so much more in the picture. While they sorted out who would take the picture home, I went across the room to sort out my grandmother’s sewing supplies.
In a corner of her sewing area stood a tall, thin vinyl covered, portable sewing cupboard. The thing had always fascinated me. Jar lids nailed to the bottom of a narrow rack held baby jars filled with buttons, Vinyl pockets overflowed with dress patterns, zippers and trim. Finishing nails spaced along the top two-inch shelf held spools of sewing threads. A handle made it easy to carry to sewing circles. My grandmother had made the portable sewing cupboard at a sewing club.
As a child I was fascinated with Grandma’s homemade brown vinyl sewing box.
I cleared my throat, “Does anyone want this?”
They stopped and stared at me and the table-high, thin box. Their puzzled faces silently asked, why anyone would want that old thing?
The remembered grandma’s cookies and the pictures she chose to decorate her walls. I remembered the hours she spend bending over the sewing machine making me jumpers, blouses, skirts and once a few clothes for my dolls.
Secretly gloating, I set it aside. Of course, I wasn’t being sentimental. I was simply making sure I was the one who got to use the oddly shaped sewing box my grandmother had made years ago. It was too bad if the others were too busy cleaning out the house to stop and realize what they were missing.