While perusing a garage sale recently, I found an item that made my heart leap with excitement. It wasn’t too pretty, but I knew the memories it held. It was an old and tattered copy of a custom cookbook my grandmother’s church had done thirty plus years ago. I was enthralled with the possibility that I might find some of her recipes inside. I was just a teenager when my grandmother passed and not savvy enough to save precious items like a recipe box. I took the book home and spent a good hour pouring through it, delighted each time I found her name next to a recipe. Granted, some of the recipes confused me… homemade ice cream with odd instructions; I didn’t realize until I spoke with my dad that she used an ice cream maker. But, I was still tickled to have that piece of personal history intact for me to hold dear.
I’m sure my grandmother didn’t put much thought into the act of providing those few recipes at the request of her church all those years ago. But, that simple cookbook is now something that has reminded me of so many good memories: her not-so-perfect angel food cakes, family Sunday dinners, cans of generic pop stored in the fridge door for a child’s easy access – after asking of course, and how she’d dig in her bingo money jar to give each kid a few quarters they used to find treasures at the local dime store.
I have very few artifacts from my grandmother’s life… but I now have one more. And, who knows? Maybe someday your grandchildren will be telling their own version of my story.