There are a million wooden spoons. I’m sure I could go into any store, from a Walmart to a high-end Kitchen store, to replace the one I have. But the one I have has a special function none of those other spoons would have. My spoon has the ability to transport me back in time.
This wooden spoon is the spoon my mother used to stir her brownie batter and, when I was being good, was the spoon I was allowed to lick the leftover batter from until it was clean. When I became old enough to take over in the kitchen, I was entrusted with the spoon and left on my own to make the brownies without my mom’s help. Even though I was far beyond those childhood years, I still licked the spoon.
This wooden spoon has had an epic journey and has lived in many kitchens but it now finds its place in my home. It was one of the only kitchen items I chose to keep from my mom’s vast collection of kitchen gadgets after she passed away. It shares its space with the shiny stainless steel utensils, in just as shiny a container, on the counter in my kitchen. It looks like a misfit toy lost in the pristine surroundings of Santa’s workshop but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There are times when I am afraid to use the spoon for fear that it will break and I will lose the last tangible part of the life I shared with my mother. It feels like the last piece of her I can physically hold on to, have her feel close to me and be six years old again in our kitchen.
People will tell you “things are just things”, but when those things can keep you connected to people you have lost, those things become so much more than “just things”.