11 October 2016. I have a set of measuring spoons that is an unglamorous as they come. They're not ceramic or substantial (they might top out at 2 ounces), they're not the world's most accurate spoons, nor are they narrow enough to slip in and out of spice jars. They're not brand name. If I think hard, there's not a single thing notable about them, except that I grew up with them. They are the spoons that measured salt for my first pie crust (it sucked), and they were used by my parents long before I got my hands on them. Using them brings a sense of ease and connection to family members and foods past. Objects can have this power and presence, sometimes good, sometimes bad.
On the other hand, a new thing gives you the chance to start over with no memories or associations attached. You get to create them. If you crave comfort, choose a scarf that settles gently against your neck to bring warmth and peace with each wear. If you want to cook more, a wooden spatula that fits perfectly in your hand might lure you to the kitchen just to feel its smooth edge glide through scrambled eggs. Even though they're just things, these things add meaning to the everyday. So I'll take that spatula and bring it into the fold, nestling it in with my spoons to take on the next soup or stew or stoup. The dish doesn't matter so much. I'll be glad simply to have the tools I like by my side.