The past few weekends have been clean out time at the house. I’ve been going through closets and making stacks of things I no longer want or need in preparation for a near future yard sale. I’m not a collector or hoarder. When “things” start to build up, I get twitchy. This leads to biannual, if not more often, clean outs. Recently, while rummaging through storage bins and random stuff I had shoved into the front closet, I unearthed a couple of boxes I did not immediately recognize. One small one had my name written on it and I was surprised to find a set of individual, glass salt cellars that had been my grandparents. There was also another larger box with small drink glasses in it. Sippy cups is not the proper term here, but I’m not sure what they’re called. I guess they’re for tasting, not chugging.
I lucked out big time being adopted into an amazing family. Finding these heirlooms and holding them in my hands brought on a flood of thoughts. I imagined a dinner party with tailored suits, A-line skirts, coiffed curls and spit-shined shoes. The dining table would be set to the nines. My grandmother in an apron that matched her yellow kitchen, serving up a perfectly cooked meal–everyone complimenting and reaching for more. Ladies smiling and taking dainty bites while the men talked shop. Men grunting and shoveling down more meat while the ladies talked kids. After the meal, the women would have coffee in the living room, chatting and playing on the organ. The men making drinks on rocks and retiring to the back room with cigars. My mom and aunt peeking through cracks in doors to see the clothes and listen to what the grown-ups were whispering. Dessert would be a pound cake with vanilla ice cream and cookies. At the end of the night, they would all kiss cheeks, shake hands, and disperse in a cloud of liquored breath and perfumed necks.
Holding those hand-me-downs created this imagination in my mind. I don’t know whether my grandparents had dinner parties or not. I would venture to guess that they did, but the fact I don’t know for sure is what got me thinking how important it is to learn all of these things before you’re left holding stuff instead of stories.