On Saturday my sister and I traveled across state lines and continued south, headed for a twice-a-year reunion with our aunt. The three of us enjoy getting together outside of the hoopla of family gatherings. The dynamic is different. The conversation topics are mutually simpatico. And because we select a different and unfamiliar restaurant each time, we’ve agreed that the quality of the food is not top priority, but the company is. The new rule is “No Gifts“, but Aunty L. couldn’t resist bringing along this gorgeous blue and white antique wash basin on Saturday. It belonged to my father, who passed it along to his twin brother and wife at some point.
My sister recalls that it always held Dad’s shoe shining supplies: cans of polish, small rags for applying the oxblood paste, flannel buffing cloths and a brush for the shoe shine. The bowl followed him from Boston to New Hampshire, house to house to house. He was a man who placed great value on the condition of one’s foot wear and time piece. This may strike those who knew him as humorous or surprising, seeing as he spent most of his adult life wearing overalls. And not because he was a farmer!
Now the bowl has arrived on my doorstep. I like the idea of form and function. Which means I want it to have more purpose than to look pretty and collect dust. It will be great as a photo prop. Or to hold fabric scraps in the work room. My association of this bowl with memories of Dad run deep. No matter what, the memories it triggers are palpable and good fodder.