a story of spoons
|August 6, 2013||Posted by Mama under family life|
When I shared our July 4th adventure I got so carried away writing what I felt like at the moment that I forgot to tell you one of the fun things that happened on that holiday. Since then things have been really busy and I just never got around to telling you about it, but today I’m going to set aside the busyness of the homestead to take a bunny trail and finally share the story.
It all started eight and a half years ago when Papa and I took our honeymoon to Ireland. In between sightseeing stops we visited a number of little shops and tourist centers looking for gifts for loved ones and trinkets to bring home for ourselves. We were particularly interested in some kind of memorabilia that we could use or otherwise enjoy on a regular basis; something we wouldn’t just pack in a box in the closet and pull out every few years to ooh and aah over. Then Papa saw the dinnerware sets.
Papa has always had this thing about silverware. He’ll use anything that’s clean of course, but he much prefers owning silverware that is thick and strong. You know that little dimple you find in the joint between the handle and the part that touches the food? You find it on the back of many cheaper sets, and is a pretty sure sign that it is not really good quality. We own and use some of those today. So when he saw the dinnerware sets in that little shop in Blarney, he had to stop and look. Sure enough, they had some really nice, good quality sets without the dimples, and he turned to me and asked (and I’m not quoting!), what better way to remember Ireland than to buy Ireland-made silverware we can eat with every day?
We bought a 24-piece set, including six placements of two different kinds of spoons, a knife, and a fork. Initially we packed them away. Our house was being remodeled and it seemed appropriate to wait until it was done to start using them as a sort of celebration.
Well, you know what happens with houses you remodel yourself. Long story short we decided to pull them out one day and start using them on a regular basis, regardless of what our house looked like. They served us well and we enjoyed them.
Two years ago we lost a spoon. And then last year, another. Papa was all but heart broken. Those were our Irish silverware! We paid good money for them, and they were supposed to remind us of a special time in our lives. He said that if we got down to two sets we would pack them up and not use them again, or at least for a very long time.
I didn’t tell him that I discovered a third spoon had gone missing, and all three missing spoons were of his favorite of the two sizes. But when that last spoon went missing I knew I had to do something, and that’s when I came up with an idea for his birthday gift. I dug out the scrapbooks, and sure enough, the receipt for that dinnerware set was in our honeymoon album! A little google search later and I had found the single Irish store that was selling them online (they are actually made in Ireland).
I purchased the three spoons to replace the missing ones back in February or early March, and wrapped them up to save them for his birthday, hoping the whole time that Papa wouldn’t notice there was a third spoon missing. Hilarious to say now, but I intentionally left a few dirty dishes in the sink with spoons at times, when I thought he might go counting them. Nobody wants to count dirty dishes! And it worked, he never noticed.
But there is another twist to the story! Oh yes, spoons can have a story too! A few weeks after I bought the spoons I found one of the missing ones in the compost. Someone must have dumped it out with the leftovers. Of course, I couldn’t tell Papa about that one because then the conversation would come up about how many spoons we would have, and I’m a horrible lier. If he said the set was complete or nearly so (as he would believe) I wouldn’t be able to keep the secret any longer! I washed the composted spoon and put it with the birthday package.
So now we had an extra one, until I counted again and realized we still had three spoons (not including the brand new ones). I don’t know what was happening to all these spoons, but I started to lose track of what we had and didn’t have. I could only hope that by the time Papa’s birthday rolled around on July 4th that we would have a full set.
And, surprise! Surprise! We had exactly 6 spoons of that kind after he opened the package on his birthday. He had a couple ideas of what I might have bought him, but he was way off. The thought had not occurred to him that I would special order three spoons from half way around the world just to tickle his fancy. But he was very pleased, and had a smile on his face for quite a while that day. Hey, if three spoons will make my hubby happy, that’s what I’ll get him!
Today, a full month after he opened his gift, we still have a full 24-piece set of Ireland Made dinnerware, and the cool thing is that even though we would like to have the original set, we now know where we can get more if we need to.