03 June 2010
Grieving for Pyrex
I collect glass. Depression glass, milk glass, carnival glass, china- anything old. Old glass is like catnip to me. I love that it is such a fragile thing and yet it survives so beautifully. One careless move and it's gone. I use most of my things. Why have it if you don't use it?
I have some Pyrex storage containers that I have had for at least 20 years. I have always preferred using glass to using plastic. I used to like Tupperware but so many of my pieces have been lost to pot lucks, dishwashers and stains that glass seemed to be the best storage solution. At one time I had a 50s kitchen and I thought it was the most chic and marvelous place in my home. It was full my grandmother's hand me downs. Refrigerator Glass. Corningware. The old stuff.
Because of my neck and back injury, I have been having a difficult time with hanging on to my Pyrex things. My hands don't work very well. I am likely to drop things as I attempt to pull them from the shelf. I have had a few close calls. Spaghetti sauce almost made it to the floor as the weight of the bowl and the sauce caused my hands to cease functioning. The lid opened and some sauce did spill out on my shirt as I trapped the bowl between the counter and my body, halting its descent to the floor. My poor little dog had assumed his monitoring position and almost got beaned with a couple of pounds of glass and spaghetti sauce. He had no idea how frightened I was that he would have been hurt by my inability to hang on to the bowl. The noise and the scuffling to catch the bowl didn't even alarm him though. He simply started cleaning up the mess and the sound of him slurping up the sauce from the floor brought his little sister in to help clean things up. For me, it's changed everything.
I am giving away my Pyrex storage bowls. I have purchased some lightweight and easy to use plastic storage containers that my poor hands can keep hold of. I'll be slightly less dangerous this way. . . but the end of an era is sad.
I knew I was grown up when I purchased my first vacuum cleaner. By the time I purchased a washer and dryer, I was pretty certain I had "Genuine Adult" tattooed on my forehead. Having to give away my Pyrex marks the end of an era for me. I am old and I am grieving it.
I gave away some books and some clothes today too. I want to get rid of all the extra stuff in my life. I can't manage it. You don't own things when you get old, they own you. I want to divest myself of all the things that I purchased being certain I couldn't live without them and I want to get on with the business of living without them. It will feel good once it is done. I am wise enough to know now that I need very little.
But... I am grieving for my Pyrex storage bowls and shuddering at the thought of having to give away my grandmother's Pyrex mixing bowls. Grieving, shuddering and understanding. It has become painfully obvious why she bequeathed her set of nesting bowls to me and her Corningware casserole dishes too. It was a right of passage for me to receive them, I felt so grown up. Now I know why she did it and I only wish my kids were closer so we could repeat the cycle.