14 July 2011

R.I.P. old friend

Today I am mourning the loss of a dear friend.

It's silly I know to feel so sad, but this morning I broke my mixing spoon. Clean in half. I feel almost lost without that spoon. To everyone else it was just a spoon. But to me it was my spoon, the spoon that has been with me since before we were married.

My spoon has shared almost 25 years of my life. It's been with me as I've mixed pancakes for breakfasts and stirred pasta sauces that have been rated "fan-freaking-tastic" or "yerckkkkk". My spoon has stir-fried hundreds of woks of noodles and veggies, beaten coffee cakes and tested custards for wobbliness.

It's scraped dough out of the mixer and veggies from the food processor. It's stirred gravies and sauces, soups and stews, tossed salads and spread icing.

This off-white melamine wonder was just the right shape for beating mashed potatoes. It had a nice flat edge, just the right width to fit the curve of a mixing bowl or saucepan.  It's handle was long enough to rest on the edge of a pot without getting hot.

My eyes wander of their own accord to the utensil jar on the bench and the empty space where my spoon usually rests. The jar seems off balance somehow. The gap is taunting me, reminding me that I was too harsh with such an old friend and should never have tried to scrape the bottom of a burnt pot with it. How could I profess to love something so much and yet treat it so harshly?

All I can say is my old friend has never let me down until this morning. My spoon started out scraping as reliably as it ever has. And then, all of a sudden, with one sharp shove, it snapped. Really. The sound it made as it broke in half was a definite snap. My spoon had never snapped at me before, it's never so much as scratched the bottom of my non-stick pan.

I guess I just pushed it too hard, harder than it could take and I broke it.

And now I have to live with the guilt and regret of knowing that it is my fault, and mine alone, that I no longer have my old friend in the utensil jar.

The kids suggested we go out and buy a new spoon, but I think it's too soon.  I need to wait a couple of days, try out some of the other spoons, waiting at the back of the utensil drawer. I need to give them a chance to step up and take my spoon's place.  If they ever can.

Farewell old friend. We've shared many an hour at the stove and I've loved every one of them. You will be missed.

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