Who Would Guess?

Recently, while cleaning off a shelf in the bunk room closet, I came across two bowls…one a rather detailed carved affair with a forest scene complete with deer. The other was one that hubby made while still in high school, inlaid walnut and cedar.

Because the rather detailed one actually fell from the shelf amidst other things that came tumbling down in my cleaning frenzy, I decided to set it out. I used to display it all the time when we were at Windsong Ranch because I thought it fit the area. Looking at it again, I decided it still fit our wee cottage, so set it on the low handmade cedar chest that I remembered always being at the foot of my Aunt Hazel and Uncle Audress’s bed. Fitting, I thought, because the bowl also came from this particular aunt and uncle, and I had inherited both.

The very evening I graced the top of the chest with the pretty carved bowl, granddaughter #4 visited. And her first words? “Oh goody, you got out the bowl for the nutcrackers…but where is the nut bowl that ALWAYS went with it?” Yep–she meant the one hubby made.

I had never thought of them being a tradition. In reality, it was just convenient to put the whole nuts hubby enjoyed in one, and the nutcrackers in the other….on the small table by his chair. Simple.

When granddaughter #2 came later, her first words were nearly the same…”Where is the nut bowl? Grandpa, will you get nuts again like you always used to do?”

Memories. Who knows how they are made? Not usually planned, and not at all as elaborate as one might think. Yet–from Thanksgiving until well after Christmas, the bowls were filled with nuts and the assortment of picks and crackers. And even to us it brought memories of the little ones standing beside grandpa, being cautioned not to pinch their fingers in the nutcrackers, and always, always, always having to sweep up the shells that seem to fly here and there with their efforts.

Once again the bowls are out. By grandpa’s chair. And while Thanksgiving dinner was not at our house this year, we came home filled to the brim with new memories made, and took delight in the old ones…while cracking walnuts and almonds and watching the shells fly.

Who would ever guess nuts in a bowl could evoke such tightness around the heart?

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10 responses to “Who Would Guess?”

  1. Sara Meisinger says :

    Isn’t it crazy what little things we remember from grandma’s? When my grandparents had their sale we all bought those little things, often crazy things, that we all remembered. Now we gift them to each other, but they are still in the family and it’s obvious that we love the memories that go with each item. One is a big ceramic peacock with lights on it’s tail. The other is a nut bowl made from slices of the entire walnut shell and glued back together. Thanks for taking me back for a few moments!!

    • Julane Hiebert says :

      I can’t help but think Aunt Hazel and Uncle Audress would be thrilled that they’ve contributed to our memories. They never had children of their own, but I grew up very close to them and as a little girl spent hours and hours in their home. My memories of time spent with them are fond.

  2. Susan Mires (@susanmires) says :

    You’re making me homesick for the wee cottage on the lake. I’m nuts about you and our Pages from Stages group!

  3. Cherie Gagnon says :

    What a very sweet story. ‘Who would guess” I’d be sitting here in Canada almost crying about nutbowls in Kansas? Makes me miss my grandparents who are now in heaven.

    • Julane Hiebert says :

      Aww, Cherie. Didn’t mean to make you cry. Just always amazed at how hard we can sometimes TRY to make a memory, and what sweetness and simplicity actually do the job for us. You better believe…the nut bowls are out to stay!!

  4. Jeanie Berg says :

    Looking at your picture—we had a nut bowl very much like it–but where is it now????? I have no idea!! We also had a smaller one that was made from a slice of tree trunk and hollowed out on top. It also had an upright center to stick the nutcracker into and, of course, also the annoying “pickers”. Don’t know where that one is either! I shall have to inquire of my siblings! I hope they’re still in the family somewhere….. Also, we usually had a farm pliers in with our assortment of nutcrackers. Probably because there weren’t enough crackers to go around or for those very difficult to crack Brazil nuts!

    • Susan Mires (@susanmires) says :

      Pliers usually work better, didn’t they Jeanie?! We had those, too.

    • Julane Hiebert says :

      We noticed there weren’t as many Brazil nuts in the assortment this year, which is okay as far as the kids go–they are hard to crack but we have some really big nutcrackers that seem to work just fine–but then I think they talked grandpa into cracking the hard ones for them. Hope you fine your bowl, and fill it with nuts!!

  5. Susan Hollaway says :

    Sweet post, Julane!

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