Where Rustic Living Meets Refined Elegance

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Four Bowls and Three Little Girls

My very first job at age 16 was in a small kitchen shop.  Not like today's stores such as Williams Sonoma but more of a little boutique shop.  This was before big box stores like Bed Bath and Beyond.  This was when local people made a profession of what they loved and opened small shops where customer service reigned supreme.
It was "The Shop Around The Corner" of kitchen shops.  It was called Charlotte's Web and the owner, Charlotte, was a jewel. I have always loved to bake and cook so this was a dream job for me.  One day as I was unpacking the most beautiful bowls, new from Phaltzgraph, (remember them?) I told the owner how much I loved these bowls. The shape, voluptuous yet simple, heavy and sturdy with the simple band around the top dressing up just a little bit. I was in love.  And then Charlotte said the most wonderful words had I had ever heard in my long life of 16 years, "Well you know you can set them aside in back and I can just take it out of your check".
Yes, employee lay-a-way.  The heavens had opened up. I not only grabbed those bowls and set them in the back I started walking around the store with a careful eye as to what else I'd like to "set in back".
When I moved into my first apartment these bowls were an important part of my kitchen. The small one was just right for one person to mix just about anything.  When I got married I found each one served a perfect purpose in my kitchen.  The small one for mixing eggs or tuna salad, the next one up quickly became the daily salad bowl, the next one up was for big salads and large batches of cookies and the granddaddy of them all was perfect for making bread, which I did a lot of, and for taking salads to large picnics.
Over the years, even though I was careful I found they took a small beating.  Especially as my three girls began to work in the kitchen with me.  The other day as I unpacked these bowls and looked at all the chips and even a small hairline crack in one I saw them for the first time for what they really were.  Not just beautiful bowls that were old and chipped but instead I saw beautiful pottery that helped me teach 3 girls (now beautiful women) how to cook and bake. 
It made me sad to think of all the times I chastised the girls for not being more careful and getting upset each time there was a new chip.  Not that I didn't want them to appreciate taking care of things, but when I look at these now I see little hands stirring with a big wooden spoon, slopping batter over the edge.  I see eggs getting cracked with a tiny piece of shell dropping in and a sweet little face leaning over the bowl looking inside the bowl wondering what to do.  I see sweet, angelic faces so proud as they showed their daddy what they had baked.
How I wish I could go back to do it all over again with them and each time there is a small crack or chip, hug them and tell them it's ok instead of a lecture on being careful.
They've now been assigned the top shelf with their age spots pointed to the wall, but they are still used frequently.  When the cowboy is cooking these are the first bowls he reaches for.  They really are just right.


  1. I love the story of your bowls! It is wonderful to hear.
    I have always baked with my boys, and nieces and nephews and I am also getting a hint of the passing of time, as they get older. My 17 y.o. nephew who used to need a chair to stand at the counter and help bake cookies and cakes, now only stops by occasionally to grab a large handful of cookies. My 34 year old nephew, I was a very young aunt ;) ,now is an accomplished bread maker and makes beautiful pickles, salsa and seasoned biscuits with his three children. My young teen boys and nieces still like to help, more often EAT, but I also miss those days of little helping hands. I may just have to invite the great nieces and nephews over to help now and then!

  2. now this is the beauty of a blog ... to share you heart on your sleeve with honesty and forthright-ness ...
    my friend,
    I love you

  3. Beautiful sentiment! I'm teary eyed remembering the days spent with my nieces and nephews, the sweet things they said and adventures we had that I'll never forget!

  4. How many times have I scolded my kids for chipping or breaking something too...that now I think I should have enjoyed the moment and hugged em. You are so right on.
    Loved this post! Love your bowls too.


  5. So glad I took a trip over here from flea market trixie's, she is absolutely right, you have a wonderful blog. From the writing to the photos to the inspiration. I am now a follower. Love your kitchen, love the new black shelving unit. love the little 'curtain' where the dishwasher will be... I could go on and on. I'll be back soon! Theresa

  6. Stopping by from Flea Market Trixie's! My hubby grew up in Atascadero! I am sure you know some of his family! His mom grew up in Paso and his dad grew up in Atascadero too! Lovely place! Love looking at all your construction-very clever ideas! I'm going to become a new follower!


  7. I have some of those same chipped things..chipped when "things" were important...things that don't really matter at all as we gain wisdom. What matters, as you said, is the time spent and the memories created. Thank you for a wonderful post. I commented on an earlier post too...thinking it was the current one. I am your newest follower. Diana

  8. Tamara,
    Thank you for your visit...I have to tell you that I am so loving your comment on my header name. Infact it might be the nicest thing anyone could say to me! compliments come in about all of our postings, and the art, along with designs in the world of euro or shabby pieces. But a compliment on a header blog name is the best :)

    Thank you girl, visit often, I enjoy your company.

  9. oh this post stopped me in my tracks! sometimes i worry to often about how my "things" are being treated and taken care of that i forget the important people who need more love and care...*thank you* for this!!

    prairie hugs,

  10. Hello there! I'm visiting from Flea Market Trixie's blog and wanted to say I loooove yours! It's chalked full of fun finds! I am happy to be your newest follower! Be sure to check out FFD and say hello! I love new friends!
    All the best ~Terrell @ FrouFrouDecor~

  11. This is a wonderful post.
    As the mother of 3 daughters (all grown) I too have treasures that have their mark all over them.

    I enjoyed visiting so much and am now a follower.

    White Spray Paint

  12. Hi Tamra,
    I enjoyed reading this story of the bowls!
    Beautiful treasures!
    And thank you so much for stopping by and for your nice comment!

  13. That is so sweet. Aren't you glad you've always kept them?
    I'm enjoying your blog!



Related Posts with Thumbnails