Old Silver Soul

November 23, 2005


Well, I’m ready.

The buffet is prepared.

The countertops are cleared.

Utensils have been borrowed.

Food is being picked up.

The house is (almost) clean.

There are full rolls of toilet paper in the bathrooms.

The dog has had a bath.

The family can now show up. And I? Am ready for a nap.

But there is one thing that I always enjoy doing for these kinds of events… polishing the silver.

We run a fairly relaxed and casual home, but I am a big believer in using the lovely things you have. And so, the silver platters and pitchers, crystal stemware and china make appearances. Why keep them in a box for no one to see?

Polishing the platters is my favorite thing. Through the years I’ve been given platters from Husband’s grandmothers (both sides) and they are full of wear and tear that only history can make. Each time I take them out to clean, I can connect to the generations of women who have owned them before me. I get to take a moment to imagine how they used them, what kind of gatherings they had, and to appreciate the strength and grace of the women in our family.

Growing up, I used to spend endless hours going through my grandmother’s china cabinet. She has one of those houses where the “formal” living and dining rooms were off limits except for special occasions – lest you disturb the vacuum marks. But she always let me sit on the floor with her and take out all the beautiful things one by one. Vacuum marks be damned.

It wasn’t just that all the things were so exquisite (which they are because she has impeccable taste). It was the stories that went along with all the pieces.

This one bought for her by my grandfather in Italy. This one from Vienna. This one from a trip to the Islands.

My grandfather’s hand in all of them.

I love the artisanship, the handwork, the sparkle and the materials. But it’s the stories most of all that I love. And if I’m lucky enough to one day be the owner of any of these beautiful things, and The Swimmy wants to sit down and go through our china cabinet, I will be proud to teach her to not only appreciate the item’s quality, but its soul as well.

Happy Thanksgiving to you. May you create some good stories of your own this year. Amen.

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2 Responses to “Old Silver Soul”

  1. Chris Says:

    That’s the thing about holidays – they’re exhausting. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 🙂

  2. bill Says:

    We cooked. We cleaned. We cooked some more. We cleaned some more. We ate. The cats ate. We slept, woke up, saw Harry Potter. We ate pie until we popped then played Scrabble. I won going out with “nub.” I’d say that was a perfect day, by a nub.