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.


  1. I love your sketch. I have a rolling pin of my grandmother's that I treasure. And while antiquing recently, I found a set of aluminum measuring spoons EXACTLY like those I used when I baked cookies as a child with my mother. I bought them, and when I told my mom about it, she said, "They probably ARE our spoons... I think I sold them at a garage sale about 30 years ago!"

    These tools become so much a part of our everyday lives, and our memories, so it doesn't surprise me at all that you treasure them!

  2. Off topic - I really enjoyed reading Major Pettigrew... A great book. I had a daughter-in-law from India for a while and could relate a little to the struggles of the two cultures.