As a little girl, I loved to help my mother polish silver. She only had a few family pieces, but each were special to her. Our holiday meals were often meager, so the sparkle on the table showed the importance of the occasion.
At a favored Aunt's house hoverer, the silver pieces were abundant. I would help her polish as well, but for an everyday meal of cold cuts. From her I learned words like Gorham and Tiffany. She was the collector of the family silver and china as other relatives passed on, but more importantly, she was the curator of the family stories that went with each. During our polishing sessions, she made sure I knew the stories well.
When I came of age to set up my own home, Aunt Jean began to pass on some of the family pieces to me one by one over 27 years. Some of the closest to my heart and among the first she gave me are a couple of candy dishes. One is engraved with her mother's, my beloved Aunt Mildred's, monogram. The other I spent many afternoons lining up the Shraftt's thin mints in their delicate white paper sleeves, just so.
And so I polish.
And sparkle with the memories of women I love.