The other day I was holding my grandmother’s old rollin’ pin in my hands. You know the one. Wooden with little lines and cracks from years of use. The handles are a little wobbly. Yeah, that one.
That rollin’ pin made the best biscuits. If I could close my eyes and travel back all those years for just one bite of those light, buttery treats, I would do it. But, memories are all I have.
My grandmother was a chubby thing. Short. Round. Her fingers were little sausages. But she could do two things with them that held me captive, play the piano like no one else and roll out dough like she meant it. When her small hands went to work, her fingers flew over the keyboard at lightning speed and her fingers grasped that wooden rollin’ pin while she rolled out the perfect dough.
I remember the scent of her, the fire in her eyes when someone angered her, and the compelling way she said my name, Lene. That’s what she called me. For some reason, I always remember her as being forever the same. Weird, isn’t it? She was in her early sixties when she left for home, but she always looked the same to me. She was always—Grandma.
The reason I was holding that rollin’ pin in my hands is my 25-year-old daughter, the mother of my granddaughter, is moving into her own apartment. We were going through my kitchen drawers and cupboards, separating some things for her to get started in her new place. If you’re like me, you have so much parting with a few things is hardly noticeable.
Objects hold very specific memories, strong ones when they’re associated with either great love or great hurt. That rollin’ pin took me back many years. I nearly handed it off to my daughter, but something held me back. I gave her all my baking supplies, I really don’t plan on baking much anymore. I gave her grandma’s cookie cutters. But for some reason, I couldn’t give her that rollin’ pin. I was probably threatened with that thing a time or two in my younger years but it still holds a special place in my heart.
I was only 28 when my grandmother died. She was still very young and had her life been different, she could have lived to see her great, great granddaughter. Changing the past isn’t possible. Changing the path to our future is and I plan on making every moment I have count.
My granddaughter is now a couple of months past 2. My relationship with my own grandmother got me thinking. How am I cementing the bond between Tink and I? What smells will she remember me by? When she’s a new grandmother what will be an object that sparks her greatest memory of me? Will she hang on to a few things that were special to me?
You know, that rollin’ pin is going to stay put. Perhaps it has a few more cookie baking sessions in it after all. I see cut out cookies in my future with smeared icing and gobs of sprinkles.
Memories…the stuff a good life produces.