Monday, March 21, 2011

I ran out of aluminum foil

I know that statement doesn't bring to mind the kind of urgency that would pull me out of a three month long blog drought. Most readers are wondering what has prevented me from just going to the store and buying more. It is a reasonable question, but the truth is that I haven't bought aluminum foil in 5 years!

My grandmother passed away 12 years ago. What does this have to do with foil? Keep reading. I was very close to my grandmother, and she was a huge influence on me growing up. She was generous, kind, hardworking, and practical. I hope that I have some measure of these good qualities.

My grandmother's possessions with any meaning or value were divided by her four children. It was my mother who claimed the knitting needles for me because she thought I would bother to learn (I am, however, certain that my mother had no vision that she was giving birth to my obsession). Grandma's house and everyday objects were sold in an action. For some reason, my mother decided to take grandma's aluminum foil.

Grandma was a frugal person. And while my mother isn't sure when, she is reasonably sure that grandma bought the foil because is would save money. This foil was a roll that was 18" x 1000'! For the curious, the roll of foil was longer than 3 football fields! For at least 8 years, my mother swaddled every left over morsel of food in her house in foil. The shinny roll seemed endless.

Time passed, mom and dad never thought about foil, but really, who thinks about foil? When my parents moved to a smaller house, my mom, not wanting to waste such a valuable commodity, passed the foil to me. The box was heavy and old. Covered in layers of kitchen gunk from two kitchens, I put the box on top of my refrigerator and covered left over food in foil with reckless abandon. I often joked about my "heirloom" foil (I was the third generation to keep the foil). Last year, realizing that my inheritance would soon run out, I thought about passing the foil on to my daughter (she enjoyed the joke, but didn't want the foil).

It is gone now. I called my mother to tell her I was out of foil. We shared a good, heartfelt laugh. We had a long chat about my grandmother and the importance of passing things on. We cried. I am still out of foil, but my life has been greatly enriched by the people who have bothered to share the seemingly insignificant things with me. It was only a beat up box of foil, but it was in grandma's house, mom's house, and finally, my house. Foods made with love, care, and the skill of generations were held safe for a brief time. The foil is gone, but my inner maid, mother, and crone are wrapped in foil.

I will miss that box, but somehow, I think it will always be with me.

Happy knitting!


Anonymous said...

Hey Molly!! Hope all is well :-) We miss ya over at the swamp!!


SalemRose said...

Love you Lady! Made me a little teary eyed reading this post!!!

Cynthia said...

This is so funny to me because of a similar experience. My family jokes because my inheritance from my beloved Gramma was 11 boxes of aluminum foil. It took me 15 years to use them up. I used the last one up last summer. In the fall my aunt died. Guess what my inheritance from her is? 5 rolls of waxed paper! LOL
Every inch will evoke a memory, just as the foil did.

Cynthia R