Do I have a story for you. I recently ran into my friend Lesley when I was out shopping and she proclaimed, "I'm so glad I ran into you; I've been meaning to call; I bought something for you!"
My first thoughts were, "What? Why would you buy something for me?" and then I quickly came around to, "How fun!"
Lesley and I met through the Junior League of Birmingham around 1997 and we saw each other all the time when we were volunteering. Now our schedules are different and it feels like we never get to see each other anymore. We did talk for a long time on the phone when I was about to "live" on and off in Seattle. She introduced me to her friend, Kathy in Seattle, who became my friend Kathy in Seattle. Isn't that great?
Lesley told me that she had recently been to an estate sale in our area and noticed among the clutter, a recipe box shaped like a house. And it was still full of recipe cards! Being a sentimental girl, Lesley couldn't bear to leave such a personal item behind.
She told me that as she stood there, with a lifetime's worth of possessions for sale around her, she decided that I should be the steward for this very feminine relic.
I completely agree. I love cooking and friendship and collecting. This treasure is the intersection of all three. I like looking at the different styles of recipe cards from years ago and at the distinct handwriting of her friends. There are years of friendships here and I only wish that I could ask her about each and every woman. Was the lasagna recipe from her supper club? Was the lemon cake someone's pride and joy? There is a story here, I just know it.
My heart tells me that her family removed any recipe cards that were meaningful and that I have the cards from outside the family, and that suits me just fine.
I think Lesley is both thoughtful and intuitive to find a way to keep this woman's friendship box alive. I may not know its history, but I will honor it just the same.
Have you ever found yourself looking after another person's treasure?