Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Treasures of the heart . . .
One thing which I have learned about myself in life is that I like things that wear well and have meaning. This applies not only to things but to friends as well . . . from an old cookpot, to a well trusted and weathered friend . . .
It doesn't matter how many new and shining things I am sent to trial, or that I should happen to buy . . . I find myself . . . time and time again . . . passing them over for that old wooden spoon which has been through eons of stirring, and smells of a thousand meals, stored in all of it cracks and crannies. I have a set of beautiful china which was given Todd and myself as a wedding gift, but it sees the light of day only once a year . . . at Christmas. I often pass over my newest casserole dishes in favour of the old brown stone one Todd already had when we first married, a brilliant find in a charity shop, no doubt. It takes living with things to love them, and a million happy memories cling to these old objects like gold dust.
I heard someone say the other day that one should never get attached to things. It should always be as if you could go out your front door, turn the key in the lock, walk away and never return . . . and in doing so never miss a thing at all. Ideally this should be a good thing I suppose, but there are things I would miss a great deal. Nothing worth a ton of money, no . . . but there are a few other things which have a much deeper meaning for me, and . . . whilst not another person on earth would give a pence for them . . . to me, they are quite priceless, with a value beyond measure.
This is my Grandmother's school reader. It's pages are tattered and worn, and literally falling apart, and well they should be for they are over 100 years old. It means the world to me because it was my Nan's. She gave it to me when I was a very small child, probably only about 4 years old, long before I could even read it myself and I have cherished it ever since. It has followed me around the world and on it's careworn pages are a thousand hugs and a ton of love from a Grandmother I will not see again this side of the veil. Priceless . . .
When I was a much older child, probably in my teens, I purchased this wooden wall hanging for my mother one year as a gift. It is a Holly Hobby work. I loved it and thought my mom would love it too. She did. It hung on her walls for many years, but then when she moved out of her house into her apartment about 16 years ago, she asked me did I want to have it as she didn't really have room for it. I took it, of course, and it has been with me ever since. It is old and worn, faded by years of sunlight and a bit yellowed in spots . . . but it is a reminder to me of my childhood and the love I had and have for my mother. Priceless . . .
This was the very first Christmas Gift my ex Mother In Law gave to me, back in 1977. It was a little handwritten notebook of recipes, her tried and trues and family favourites. As you can see it, too . . . is falling apart. It's pages splattered, stained and worn. Well used. It is priceless, even though my ex and I are no longer married and I seldom have contact with any of his family now. That doesn't mean I don't still love them, or have some beautiful sentiments attached to this little notebook. I see the love it contained then, and still contains. It is a treasure.
I picked these up eons ago in a yard sale. They are very old and chipped in places, but I do love them. Probably are not worth anything at all to anyone else, but once again, these little blue birds have travelled with me around the world and carry a little bit of my soul in them . . . treasures untold.
Once again a bit tattered and torn, I have had this cookbook for many, many years. It was one of the very first ones I ever bought for myself. I have cooked most if not all of the recipes on it's pages many, many times. Madame Benoit was one of Canada's first cooking celebrities. I remember watching her on the television when I was a girl, on a show called (I think) Take Thirty. A lot of North American cooks cut their teeth on Julia Child . . . for me it was Jehane Benoit. She also had a weekly column in the Star Weekly magazine. She was my very first culinary inspiration. You could take away all of the cookbooks in my collection and leave me with just this and whilst I would miss the others, I would think you had left me with the real gem of the bunch.
This is a book of poetry I love. It sat in my mother's bookcase the whole time I was growing up. I spent many, many hours reading the poems on it's pages and being inspired during those growing up years. When I left home to go out to Winnipeg back in the early 1970's my mom gave it to me because she knew how much I loved it . . . meaningless to many, priceless to me. It contains a multitude of childhood dreams . . .
Much treasured also is a personal letter I received two years ago from President Dieter F Uchtdorf, one of the counselors to the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a man I greatly admire and look up to. In it he told me that my Heavenly Father loved me and was mindful of the desires of my heart, and that He commended me for the choices I had made. Special words from an Apostle of the Lord that arrived just when I needed them most. I would scan the letter and show it to you, but it is in my nightstand and Todd is still asleep . . . besides the words would probably not mean anything to you, although they mean the world to me. That this man, who is very, very busy would take the time out of his day to write me a personal letter . . . well, that is priceless to me, and shows me the caliber of man that he is.
I could go on and on about the special treasures I have in my home, but none of them can hold a candle to the special treasures that are my family and my friends. These are the true treasures in life. They are what mean the very most to me and what I hold dearest, and that is as it should be. I carry them with me everywhere I go . . . I hold them in my heart.
I worked hard yesterday slicing and drying fruit from our garden, but in between times I got the chance to work on a new project I am working on. Here are a few samples of what I have been doing . . .
An old AGA with cat ensconced in the warmth radiating from the front of it and a shelf full of treasures behind it on the wall . . .
Why yes . . . it IS a tin of beans . . . lol
I bet the wheels are turning now and you are wondering . . . hmmm . . . all will be revealed soon.
Some garden tomatoes. I am quite proud of these actually. I think I did a rather good job on them if I don't say so myself.
I am sure you can see a theme here . . . we'll see . . .
A thought to carry with you through the day . . .
"One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats."
In The English Kitchen today . . . Summer Fruit Cordial. Deliciously refreshing! Something to store for the winter ahead.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!