Sunday, February 7, 2010
Regardless of who you are, where you live, or what food you enjoy- one thing we all share in common is that somewhere in your kitchen is a salt and pepper shaker.
These are mine. For a long time, we had a set of mason jar looking things with plastic screw on lids. A few years back I got tired enough of them that I actually shopped for a new pair. And these are what I dug up. From Target, of course. They were like $5 for the pair. Nothing fancy. Nothing irreplaceable. Nothing of heirloom quality. But they are ours.
The are used every time I cook. They are on the table every time we eat (thanks to my husband and his unhealthy obsession with salt). They are in my kitchen all the time. And probably will be for the rest of my life. If they can last that long, that is.
They are a simple staple item, one that we all own. We don't think much about them, they just are a necessity thing. Everyone has a set- and if you camp often, well then you probably have two.
A few weeks ago we spent some time helping Dan's parents to clean out his grandfathers home. Although at 93 years old he was still living independently, driving himself to card parties during the week and church on the weekend- a turn in his health this past Fall forced him to move to a nursing home. He was crushed, he loved his home and wanted nothing more than to go back there. But that was not possible, based on the way his body was deteriorating.
As we sorted through items, boxing up some for a yardsale, some for auction, some for Goodwill- I came across a dish or something and asked Dan's mom what pile it should go in. She mentioned that she had just washed up the matching salt and pepper shakers.
And it struck me.
Papaws salt and pepper shakers were emptied and washed. Placed in a pile for strangers to pick through and possibly offer a quarter for. His salt and pepper shakers.
No doubt, his were selected by Dan's grandma- but she's been gone for many years. I'm sure she touched them more times than could be counted as she prepared meal after meal in their home, for her family. And even after she left this earth, Papaw kept them on his dinner table- touching them daily I'd bet.
Christmas dinners, Thanksgivings, Birthday parties, Sunday dinners, Pizza on Friday's, eggs in the morning- whatever. Always the same pair of shakers.
It must have been hard to take the top off and pour out the unused salt and pepper. Almost like signifying that life was leaving that home- making way for a new family and their own set of salt and pepper. For whatever reason- it really struck me.
At some point in all of our lives- our shakers will be emptied and gotten rid of.
Dan's grandpa left this earth on Friday. Although my heart is heavy, I do feel a sense of relief for him. I suppose he was ready. It comforts me to think that he is with Jesus- he's spent many years of his life worshiping him.
Everyone calls him gramps. We call him grapes- that's the way Ally pronounced it as a child.
With his home basically empty and for sale now, the only reminders of his time on this earth soon will be the ones we carry in our hearts. Which is how it should be, I suppose. Nothing physical on this earth matters. But it still feels kind of hard to see it all change.
I'm sure his service will be beautiful. I hope that this snow can hold off until after his funeral.