The story of the tin measuring cup I have goes back a few generations. My mom used the full cup and its accompanying fellows; half-cup, one third cup and one forth cup. I now own them all, but the full cup was used the most and now is as fragile as paper.
I believe that Mom’s grandmother, “Nanny,” owned the set first, and either Mom’s mother, Effie, or her aunt Ruby owned them after Nanny passed on. For years, I watched Mom use them to make everything from spaghetti sauce to amazing cakes.
I use them all still, but have had to put the full cup out to pasture as it is so thin now. Its current home is up on one of the hutch shelves in the company of several ceramic and clay pots I’ve treasured over the years. I can’t bear to throw it out; it has too much history and, I believe, still holds the prints of my mother’s hands.
The “ONE CUP” engraving on the bottom of it has become a delicate stencil so it can no longer hold liquids. The little metal tab handle has long since broken off, and the cup itself is battered and dented through years and years of use. I know it’s just a tin cup, but it is family to me.
I feel as though people are much like cups, whether made of tin, or glass, or plastic, or ceramic. When we are brand new, we shine. We are strong and can hold anything. We are attractive in our usefulness and design. We have meaning and purpose, and are appreciated by those who need us.
Over time, our shine dims more and more, handles may break off, and there are signs of use and service all over us. Certainly we are still useful, but we are definitely showing our age and time in service. Do we have less value because of our age? I believe that age makes us more valuable, and, in our way, more useful.
That tin cup is as precious to me as any treasure I have. It has become a delicate reminder of all that is sweet and good in life. Whether this old cup has helped to make an apple pie, or biscuits, or beef stew, or the lemon crunch cake Mom made for our wedding day; it has been part of our family and is cherished as such.
May we be all be cherished, despite our bumps and dents and frailties.