My mother’s step mother, my step grandmother Granny Mary died October 18, 1990 in an Eight Grain Elevator Town. She died on my birthday, twenty six days after I married Lt. John Nicolson Hodges. She gave all of her money to the local United Church and the Legion Auxiliary. My Grandmother left her spoon collection to my mother. Granny Mary had collected hundreds of spoons when she travelled through out Canada and the United States to Harness Races with my Grandfather, Nealie Oliver, who was one of the pioneers of Western Canadian harness racing. He was inducted into the Canadian Harness Racing Hall of fame in 1990.
A woman in the Eight Grain Elevator Town whose husband had shoveled sidewalks and helped drive my Grandfather before he died , was not pleased that she and her husband were not mentioned in the will by name. She contacted the executor of the estate and contested the will. She asked for the spoon collection. My mother gave the woman the spoon collection.
When I was in Denmark in April I bought an old silver spoon I found in a Second hand store. I didn’t have any way to display the spoon. I set in on my window ledge in the kitchen, so I could see it when I washed my dishes.
Last week I went to a Second Hand Store in Gilbertsville Pennsylvania. In the display case was a spoon collection. 88 spoons and one fork. There were two display boards, one was shaped like the outline of the United States. It was being sold by silent auction, ending on April 30th, 2012. I could imagine the spoons on my wall. The spoons reminded me of my grandmothers spoon collection.
I went in the store every few days to see what the bid was at for the spoon collection. I didn’t want to bid too early and elevate the price. During the day when I ate by cereal with a spoon, I thought about the spoon collection in the display case. When I went to bed at night I saw the place on the wall where I wanted to hang the spoons. I wanted to win the auction.
I bid on the spoons on April 27th. When I went back on April 30th in the evening to check on the auction, I had been outbid. I bid again. The manager told me people who are bidding will come to the store a few minutes before closing to make sure they are the last bidder. I wrote 8:40 on my hand to remind myself to leave home to get to the store before closing. If I wrote a note on a piece of paper to remind myself, I might not see the paper. I would notice my hand, as it is always with me. My daughter suggested I put the reminder in my phone, and have an alarm go off. But what if the battery died? I wanted to be the last bidder. I was taking no chances.
No one else was waiting by the silent auction to bid on the spoons when I arrived at the store. I wandered around the store pretending to look at shirts in the men’s section. While I scanned the shirts I kept my eye on the front door of the store. I was the last bidder when the manager turned out the lights and locked the front door. I walked to my van knowing I was the last bidder. I won.
The next day I picked up the 88 spoons and one fork and brought them home. I hung the spoons and fork on the wall beside the table with my computer on it. My youngest daughter and I took off all the spoons and one fork off of the display boards and put them back in alphabetical order by States. There are seventeen from California, and five from Pennsylvania. The spoons belonged to someone else. They are someone’s elses story. Now the spoons are mine, and I will make my own story. It will be an adventure to fill in the states I am missing; Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
I will look through thrift stores and try to find old spoons, spoons Granny Mary may have bought when she travelled through the United States when I was a little girl growing up in Canada.
I have a place to hang my spoon from Denmark now.