When my kids were young, my mother-in-law had a special cabinet in her home.
This cabinet was to the right of her oven, filled to the brim with every conceivable unbreakable child-mesmerizing item, and just big enough for a small child to climb into when empty.
But to eventually climb in… the contents had to be removed, of course. And it was in the removal of items that created most of the fun.
There were pots and pans and lids that caused lots of noise. There were wooden spoons to pound on the turned over pots and pans and lids. My father-in-law was a Big Band era drummer, so these sounds were, literally, music to my mother-in-law’s ears.
Then there were the Tupperware products. Colorful tumblers and containers of all sizes and shapes.
There were old place mats and cloth napkins. Salt and pepper shakers. And plastic utensils and plates. These were for the “dinners” that the kids would prepare.
And for the “restaurant” times, Nana had scraps of paper and crayons for “orders”… and even a calculator for check-out.
Then there was the jewelry. Magnificent “pearl” bracelets and necklaces. “Diamonds” and gems of all kinds.
Nana even had a couple of wigs in that special cabinet. Audrey and Jane were little blondies… and they thought it was so funny to become brunettes for the moment!
But then the empty cabinet. A cave. A tent. A tunnel. A tree hollow. A spaceship. Whatever and wherever an imagination could take them.
Little did I know then that Nana’s kitchen cabinet would become the keeper of so many memories.
Little did I know that some day I would have my own kitchen cabinet, filled with things to make noise and dinners and brunettes! I thank God that my mother-in-law, 89 and going strong, is here to see the memories of a new generation being formed in my kitchen cabinet to the right of my oven.