Tuesday, September 11, 2012

grandmother's knick-knacks

This is Tuesday morning.  Which means that tomorrow is Wednesday morning.  Which means that the following morning will be Thursday morning, September the 13th, 2012, the morning that I will spark up my yet unnamed car and make my return pilgrimage to the farm in New Mexico.  The farm.  When I was young, "the farm" always meant my grandmother's home in Massachusetts, to which our family would travel every summer.  It was not a working farm.  It was mostly woods and river.  Even so, we called it the farm.  We still call it the farm, though after many generations of Dorseys and Carrolls it is no longer in our family.  

This glass bowl came from the farm.  It is one of about ten precious items that I took from the farm after my mother and her siblings went through the house and collected the items that meant the most to them.  I remember being there with my mother and my uncles as they went through the house, putting their names on things.  The settling of my grandmother's estate coincided with my move from Chicago to Massachusetts.  I had a key to the house, and after the auctioneer's company had moved through and hauled off any remaining items of value, I would periodically go there and collect small items of token value.

These little plastic bowls evoke a lot of memories for me.  My grandmother would eat cottage cheese with pineapples out of them.  The auctioneer left them behind.  Who would pay a dime for them?  I found them in the high cupboards above the island.  I use them in the summer to organize and cure my seeds.  There are more than two of them.  

There are also these porcelain bowls.  The beans in this bowl have not fully dried, and so it is not safe to seal them up just yet.  Seeds need to be cured before they can be stored.  They can rot if you put them away too moist.  Is there some corollary for human memory here?  Can our memories rot if we put them away too moist?  I would love to keep writing this morning—it's a quiet and beautiful morning; my coming trip is putting so many thoughts in my mind—but I must go and do some work now.  George calls.  I have a ceiling to hang in Hadley.        

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