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We have this set of vintage pyrex nesting mixing bowls from the 1950s. My mom had  two sets and handed one over when we got married. According to etsy, they are going for about $170. That is, if we had all four of them. And they were in perfect condition.

But we don’t. And they’re not.

But every time my mom is over and sees them she tells me, “You really shouldn’t use those you know.” And for a while I didn’t. And then we needed a bowl to make something so I did. And then one broke. And I was upset because the bowls mean something to me. So I put them away in the dark recesses of the cupboard and followed my mother’s advice.

And then one day I needed a bowl so I pulled out the big yellow one and got mixing. Because I can either have bowls that are “worth something” sitting in the back of my cupboard or I can use the bowls that mean something to me so they’ll mean something to my children and their children.

Because isn’t that the point? I mean, besides selling them on eBay? If something means something and isn’t inherently decorative, won’t its meaning come from using it and making memories with my own kids?

Because I do have memories with these bowls. The yellow bowl held cookie dough in my parent’s impossibly small kitchen. The now broken green bowl served up crescent rolls. The red bowl never got used because it’s a weird in-between size. And the little blue bowl held canned fruit or vegetables as a nice side to our early 90’s dinners.

I know these bowls are worth something. But it’s more than money. They’re meaningful because they’re present in my childhood memories. They remind me of baking with my mom and dinners with the whole crazy family. I plan to make sure they’re in my kids’ memories too. I think mom will understand.

What do you use in your everyday life that reminds you of time past?