Later that week, I went back to the farm to see my dad and it was then that I went through my grandma's home with him - just he and I. I wasn't really sure what to expect, or what to take, but I knew I should take something.
Along with the quilt I took, I did find some stuff that meant something to me; various items from her kitchen. You know that I love to work in the kitchen, and those who know me well know that I love antiques. My grandma had stuff in that house that she had had for most of her adult life, so it was like a treasure hunt. Here is some of what I found...
An old tin flour sifter. My dad can remember her using this day in and day out as she worked away in the kitchen.
I honestly don't know what this is. lol. I am guessing a pot holder? Something to help carry the hot trays to the table? It doesn't matter. I like it...but if you know for sure what it is, please tell me!
Old muffin tins ( I took 3) and old silver spoons (I took 2 that look like this). Yes, they are incredibly dirty, and no, I didn't clean them, because I think their current appearance is part of their charm. If I was to clean them all up, they would be "mine"...left this way they are a reminder of where they came from.
And then...my most favourite...
Old beaters that you turn yourself. My dad says he remembers his mom using these all the time, to make icing. I was so excited when I saw these.
So for awhile I didn't know what to do with all this stuff. Obviously I wasn't going to use it, but I still wanted to display it somehow. They ended up fitting perfectly on a shelf in my kitchen, tucked in amongst some pictures.
Between the stories heard in the days after her death, sifting through the mountains of photos she kept, reading my Aunt Carol's eulogy and later going through her home with my dad and learning about the many items she had, I feel like I have learned more about her since she died, then I knew about her when she was alive. In a way I regret that, because I believe she had many stories to tell, but no one to listen to them. I love to hear about the way things were from "back in the olden days" from Jeff's grandpa or my other Grandma, and raising 6 kids on a farm, I know she had plenty of fascinating stories. But I am grateful to have heard them from my Aunt Carol, who has always been a great storyteller, and from the others.
In the last several years, I only saw my Grandma Noble once or twice a year and my interaction with her during those times was minimal. I did speak on the phone with her, for the first time in my adult life, and the first time I can ever remember, just a couple months before she died. She spoke about what it like to be a mother, and a wife, and I got a tiny glimpse into what her life had been like.
Although she was a woman of few words. I always knew my grandma was proud of my accomplishments, my parenting and the life I was making. Although I don't regret not knowing her well enough to know all of the stories behind the items I took to remember her by, I do wish the circumstances had been different.
Perhaps the closest way I could have connected with her was in the kitchen, and so I am glad that I have these items of hers. They obviously meant a great deal to her, as she kept them long after she was done using them, and they hold meaning to me too.
I don't even have a picture of my Grandma Noble in my home, other than the one on her funeral announcement. But every time I look at those items in my kitchen, a place where I love to be, I am reminded of her, and of where I come from.