Grandma’s Silver


For a long time I’ve been trying to use the good stuff, trying to enjoy the nice things I have rather than save them for some far off “better” time when they’d be appropriate. I learned this lesson the hard way after saving a vintage bottle of Champagne for too long. It was spoiled when I finally opened it for a special occasion. Thing is, drinking that Champagne makes the occasion special, not the other way around.

When my grandmother died, my mother gave me her silverware. When I think of eating at her house, even when I was very little, I do not think of this silverware. I think of some stainless flatware that sat in the kitchen drawer next to the sink. I don’t ever recall seeing this silver, and why would I? It was the good stuff, stored out of sight, wrapped carefully in soft flannel to protect it from scratches, tarnish, and ultimately, use.

I’m sure she used it. Sadly, I’ll never be able to ask her when, or hear stories about it. But after I got it and looked through it all, marveling at the shape of the soup spoon, and the weight of the fork, I packed up my stainless. And I filled our drawer with the beautiful silverware: the little butter knives and the salad forks with funny cuts in the tines.

We now use the silverware every day, for every meal. We wash it by hand, we take care of it. But we use it. And whenever I hold it, I think of her.

5 thoughts on “Grandma’s Silver

  1. Totally agree with you. We live one life, let’s enjoy it. Material things are just material. I am glad you are not only enjoying the silverware but recognizing its value.
    It reminded me about another history – the lady who saved all her perfumes and silk lingerie for a special day. Unfortunately she died before ever using any of the items. Other people probably did not give the same value and she missed the chance to enjoy herself.

  2. Another lovely vignette from your life — love it!
    It’s a beautiful silveware set and particularly brilliant in its lustre. Did you spend time polishing it up? If so, you did a bang up job! What did you use, if you don’t mind me asking? So glad to read you are using it…

  3. My mom got married in a long green skirt and matching bodice – which I used to wear to uni fairly regularly years ago. Same thing, every day I wore it, I was a little bit amazed. and love it to bits.

  4. Renee, I actually didn’t take the picture. I wanted to take some of my own shots but didn’t have the time and, in an effort to just get the posts done and not be perfect, I grabbed it online from someone selling the same set. But this is what mine looks like, and I just polished it the old fashioned way by placing it in an electrochemical dip. Works great, no rubbing required, and no icky chemicals either.

  5. M, my grandparents bought me silver before any other toys, and I now have a service for 12 or 14, down to oyster forks! I use it as my everyday (same with the Blue Willow) and love it love it.

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