Saturday, January 24, 2009

An objective day

Today, I completed many trifling but necessary and long procrastinated tasks. And I did them without playing too many Spider Solitaire games in between. None of them were onerous, but they all were slightly icky – like paying bills or going to the hardware store. Usually, I pay my bills on the computer and it takes a few seconds and no stamps. Tom’s odious bank, however, will not let me pay his bills by computer, so I have to actually write out checks and address an envelope for each one. Not to speak to the stamp I have to purchase and then stick on. Grrrr! So while my day was gratifying, it will definitely not make an interesting story for you. However …..every month, the Smithsonian magazine has an article called “The Object at Hand,” describing some artifact, and giving its interesting history. So here is an artifact, and here is its story. It is an orange squeezer. I’ll bet you guessed that. My mother had one when I was wee, and this may be her very one. Or not. Once many years ago, Rebecca and I were helping my aunt clean her basement. By helping, I mean we were doing it while she sat by and gave occasional suggestions and would not let us throw anything out. We worked and worked. When we were nearly done, smudged and sweaty, Rebecca spotted a cache of potato mashers – at least four of them. She asked if she could have one, because the one we had had broken, and she liked the old-fashioned type better than the newfangled ones. “No”, my aunt said – “each one of those mashers a special meaning. This one belonged to Aunt Theresa, and this one to…..” Aunt Theresa, I might add, has been dead at least sixty years. We were a little disgruntled about this, as we had been slaving away all day, and only wanted a potato masher. Later, my aunt, no doubt feeling that she had been silly, gave me this orange juice squeezer which was stuck off in a corner. This was a really fabulous gift, I thought – a zillion times nicer than a potato masher. We were astonished that she parted with it when she would not part with a potato masher, but did not question her decision. We rushed home with our treasure. We used to have guests for breakfast quite often, and we used it to make juice. Once when a persnickety group was there, we got it down to make juice, opened it up, and discovered that we had failed to remove the orange the last time we used it. You can imagine the impression that made. Yuck! And double yuck! I just used it to squeeze some lemons and make lemon pudding. Every time I use it, I have a raft of happy memories – of my mother using it when I was young, and of cleaning my aunt’s basement.

4 comments:

FugueStateKnits said...

I have to laugh - we now have my late mother-in-law's potatoe masher. I use it every chance I get - I think it's still got some good potato-mashing mojo:) My husband got that and a bread knife - I think they just remind him of being in the kitchen with her as a child.
Funny how that stuff works, isn't it?

joannamauselina said...

Indeed! I have my uncle's square frying pan and Tom's mother's cookie sheet. They make me happy just because of who they belonged to. The only cooking instrument I have from my Sainted Father is a bottle opener. He was not an enthusiastic cook.

rebecca said...

I have TS's measuring cup and Grandma Rossi's rolling pin!

FugueStateKnits said...

Oops! I did a Dan Quayle -meant to say Potato Masher, LOL!
oh geez!
My MIL was a good cook - like most of us, she had some personal recipes she did best. At least I hope I have some of those.....