Friday, May 4, 2012

the last bowl

I've been dreading its demise for weeks as I washed it and noticed the cracks becoming more and more apparent.  Just as the bowl's heyday moves further and further away in the rear view mirror, its existence has been threatening to do the same.  When I removed it from the dishwasher (what was I thinking?) this morning, I noticed that a few bits of food remained post-washing.  While cleaning it by hand, I saw the death-crack.  Not another chink in the armor, but a life-ending, through-and-through crack from one end to the center of the bowl.  Crud.

You see, this bowl is the last of its kind from another lifetime, a million years ago, when everything was different and all that's happened was only a dream yet to unfold.  It once belonged to a set of four Pottery Barn bowls that seems almost silly to be obsessing over, but it is so significant as a constant reminder of that special point in time.

The beautiful blonde that we met on a hot and steamy Tampa day, wearing grassy heels and cut off shorts became a partner for endless fun, our mother figure far from home and a cherished friend.  We talk to her far too seldom and have seen her even less in the last 12 years, but she's on our mind often.  Miss Debbie Carter gave us our bowls and at the time, I think they were the nicest thing Mike and I owned.  We ate nearly every meal from them and they made us feel cool, you know, Pottery Barn classy, even in our much-loved $350 per month rental house, where we barely made ends meet.

Three of our bowls were gone about four years ago; dropped or knocked off the table's edge by a playful toddler or an excited dog's tail.  But this last one, it hung on.  Until now, I've used it daily to house my giant lunch salad - it sits perfectly in my hand as I catch up on emails.  To learn it had served its purpose for the last time brought tears to my eyes.  As one of the few remaining talismans from such a memorable time in our lives, it will surely be missed. 

I know it must seem ridiculous.  But isn't it really the little things that make us who we are?  I'd never miss a piece of our china, which has been used only once in 15 years.  This bowl is a sign of where we once were, where we hoped to go, who we hoped to be and how far we've come.

It represents THIS time in our lives, which sometimes seems so long ago and at other times:  just like yesterday.

It's the definition of memorabilia and even though I'm not a saver, you can bet this chipped and pitted remnant will be placed in a box somewhere, only to be uncovered by my children or grandchildren someday.

"Why in the world would she save this?" they'll ask.

And if I'm not around to tell them, maybe my blog will.

1 comment:

alenaslife said...

You captured the feeling beautifully. I have several items that transport me to an exact time and place. They are to be treasured.