We held Thanksgiving at our house for the first time this year. There was turkey, casseroles, gravy, stuffin’ muffins, and this relish tray. The dish is apparently made out of carnival glass and is a prized family heirloom. I can remember going to my grandma’s house for family get-togethers and if there were eggs, they were on that tray. It brings up a heaping helping of nostalgia when I use it now. I always wash it gently by hand, then tuck it high in the cabinet where it can rest, undisturbed until the rare occasion it is called upon again.
This thing is so ugly but yet stunning at the same time. I wonder if there actually was a time when it was perceived as conventionally modern. How could it be? It is a gold hued egg tray for Christ’s sake! How does something so dated and hideous become a prized possession? It must be all about our lust for permanence in an inherently temporary world. One of my computer science professors gave a lecture talking about how there is no such thing as permanent data storage. We are just keeping the ball in the air until we decide to stop. Too often the decision is made for us.
It is why I am writing this blog. Why I have thousands of photos on my computer that I may never look at again. That relish tray does more than hold eggs and pickles. It is a tiny physical thing that has been imbued with the essence of someone we loved. We can’t touch or talk to the matriarch that once owned it, but it is still here and that will just have to be enough. In time, the tray will break or be discarded, my photos will be lost, and I will no longer endure. For now though, I am going to enjoy my eggs.