Grandma’s Fruit Bowl

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, December 28, 1914: <<no entry>>


Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Sigh. . . No diary entry again. I know that the end of the diary is near, and I am relishing these last few days of A Hundred Years Ago.

As the diary winds down and we send Grandma off to live the rest of her life—and me off to a new blogging project,–I’ve been thinking about some of the mementos of Grandma’s that I’ll continue to see on a daily basis.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Grandma passed shortly after I got married; and, when the grandchildren were given an opportunity to select items they would like to have from her house, I selected practical items that I needed. One item I selected was Grandma’s ironing board.

Another item I chose was her fruit bowl. It has sat on my kitchen counter, generally filed with a bunch of bananas (or a few pears or plums), for more than 30 years. I’ve lived in several different homes across that time period, but the fruit bowl on the kitchen counter has been a constant.

The fruit bowl is so functional (yet beautiful)—and I seldom even think about its history—but it’s kind of nice that items that once were Grandma’s are part of my home. The past and the present all somehow merge.

42 thoughts on “Grandma’s Fruit Bowl

    1. Yes, I have children. Your question makes me wonder if I’ve even happened to mention to them that the fruit bowl was once Grandma’s. The fruit bowl has been in the kitchen for their entire lifetimes–and I can’t ever remember ever specifically discussing it. . . . Maybe they’re reading this post, so now they’ll know. 🙂

  1. I can understand why you cherish that bowl as a memento of your grandmother. Many of us too are feeling bittersweet as your blog comes to a natural conclusion…you’ll see out the old year and welcome in the new one with the end of one blog and start of another!

    1. It’s a really weird feeling as the diary ends, and this blog comes to its natural conclusion. I’m surprised how much I think I’ll miss it–though I’m very excited about the new blog.

  2. It’s a beautiful bowl, and nice that it’s traveled with you over the years. I’d much rather have something old (especially something with sentimental value) than anything new!

    1. Grandma’s children found the diary after she passed. At that time, they passed it around so that family members could read it. When I had it, I made a copy of it. It lay in the bottom of my hutch for many years. About 5 years ago, I compiled a family cookbook that included family pictures, including one of Grandma. When my daughter flipped through the cookbook, she asked who the old woman was. Her question reminded me that I had the diary. I dug it out, and realized that it had been written almost 100 years previously. . . and the rest is history. 🙂

  3. Sometimes being practical also ends up being a wonderful aesthetic choice! This touch of elegance and simplicity from a hard farm life, passed on to you, is just perfect!

  4. Helena has always come across as practical and sensible–how fitting that you chose practical and sensible items from her estate! I think you inherited more than just the tangible items . . . 😉

    1. I think that you’re probably right. Doing this blog has made me realize that I definitely have some traits that are similar to my grandmother’s. 🙂

    1. You describe the fruit bowl very nicely. One of the things that I really like about the bowl is that it is very sturdy (and not fragile). I never have to worry about accidently breaking it.

  5. It’s a lovely reminder when you think about it having been your grandmother’s fruit bowl, and after 30 years it’s not surprising that you might take it for granted that it’s always there. You’d be lost without it though, I’m sure.

  6. I have my grandmother’s aluminum strainer I use often. I also have my other grandmother’s T shirts and a lipstick. I have the T shirts because she lived in a cold climate and we lived in a warm one. Everytime I would visit her, she would have to let me borrow her undershirt to keep warm. All of her undershirts were willed to me. Ah, Grandma is still keeping me warm.

  7. How sweet that something so practical brings happy memories of Helena. It is nice to surround ourselves with personal items.

  8. My house (and my closet) are full of family items. From my grandfather’s moth-eaten childhood blanket and Bible to an outfit from Mom with the tags still on it, I have pillowcases with tatting from my grandmother and throw pillows needle-pointed by Aunt Edie. Some items stay folded away because of their fragility, while others, like your fruit bowl are an everyday mainstay.

    1. The older I get, the more my house contains items that once belonged to ancestors and other relatives. There’s something special about each item–though I think that the ones that become everyday mainstay tend to be my favorites.

  9. How wonderful that you have those things and use them. Many times people keep those items in a special place, but never use them. All the things I have from my Mom I love using, especially at special occasions like birthdays, Christmas, or other special days.

  10. It’s not only wonderful that you have items that were your grandmothers, but that they are functional. That you use them as well as love them

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