Does anyone know what this dish is for? In my ongoing efforts to clean out closets here at our Little Red House, I came across this unusual tray. It belonged to my mother, and has been taking up space at the back of our dining room closet for I-don't-know-how-long. It is one, solid piece -- everything attached. Could it be for serving crepes? Tacos? Asparagus and hollandaise? I have no idea.
I come from a long line of people who never threw things out. For my father, I guess it was growing up during the Great Depression. My mother was a child of immigrants who had to work and scrape for every little thing. Why would you throw anything away when tomorrow it might be useful? I distinctly remember going to the town dump with my father. He might throw away one thing, but bring home three. I realize now that there was probably a "no scavenging" rule, but he was friendly with the caretaker and besides, it was a different time. People understood the need to make do.
My father built our Little Red House using a foundation that was already existing on the property when he and my mother bought the land. A contractor told us once that some of the floor joists looked unusually big and strong. He thought they might be marine timber. My father was a backhoe operator, and we suspect that he probably found them on a job site. He was always bringing home things he dug up -- a beer stein, some old bottles, an Indian tomahawk head. My mother would go to sales and flea markets and rescue chipped tea cups or little china statues. As a child, I used to open the built-in cupboards next to the fireplace and pull out all my mother's knick-knacks and little pieces of china to play with. Thus a love of dishes was born.
But back to the cleaning out of closets. I've been in a very contemplative mood lately, and it seems to me that I've reached the age where a metaphorical cleaning of the closets is underway. I feel the need to jettison all the things that are not important. Does it really matter if I go to the supermarket in my sweats? No. Do I need to drive a car that reflects my personality? Only if there is one that screams "menopausal woman -- get out of her way!" Should I worry about doing something deep, meaningful and earth-shatteringly important with my life? No, just create. Make something that brings me happiness. Life is short. Beauty is forever.
So I am letting go.
Metaphorically, anyway. I'm keeping the dish. :)