Monday, January 03, 2011
Sketchbook Challenge #1: Highly Prized
Because one of my goals for the coming year is to use my sketchbook more, I signed on to join the 2011 Sketchbook Challenge. It promises to be inspirational and fun, and I'm hoping it'll prod me to return to the sketchbook a bit more regularly.
This month's theme is "Highly Prized." The first thing that popped into my mind was a pair of wooden spoons I have which once belonged to my Auntie Helen. I know, it's odd. Maybe it's all of the holiday cooking I've been doing -- using those very spoons, even, but that's what came to mind and so they became the subject for my first entry.
And these spoons do mean a lot to me. Every time I use one, I think about my great aunt, and all of the meals she cooked using them, and how she stirred with them just as I do. It's not just a link to my childhood, but a connection to my role in the women in my family -- making food, doing our humble kitchen chores, caring for our families.
My aunt Helen was really my great aunt, my maternal grandmother's sister. She was a slender woman (I inherited several of her handmade aprons, and they look like they were made for a child's waist) with a quick smile. She didn't have children, but she was always ready to play cards or do puzzles with us. She was a lovely presence at many family gatherings, loving and kind and ready to play with any of us kids. She died over 30 years ago, but I think of her every time I use one of these spoons. I guess it's my memories of my aunt that I so highly prize, and these spoons are just the trigger.