Thursday, October 10, 2013

What a Prize

Photo taken the year Mom won a pressure cooker. And Dad. 

I was talking to my mom yesterday. I love these kind of conversations:

Mom: "Honestly. I'm so mad I could spit."

What's up, Mom?

"Well, they just don't make things to last any more."

Did something break?

"Yes! My pressure cooker!"

The one that's you've been using ever since I can remember?


Wait. How old is that thing, anyway, Mom?

"Well. Let's see sister Betty and I won that in a music contest..."

You DID?

"Sure. I played the accordion and she played the guitar. We won the first round, and came back for the finals. We took second place and won that pressure cooker."

Really? How old were you? What song did you play?

"Oh, I don't remember what we played. Old timey stuff. I guess Betty must have been 14. I was 18."

Um... Mom. That was a long time ago. Lots of people don't last as long as that pressure cooker did. 

"And we thought it was pretty funny later that same year when Dad and I got married, Betty gave me her half of the pressure cooker! Hee hee!"

Let's see now.....that would be.....

"Sixty one years ago."

Sixty one years. And you don't think that's long enough for a pressure cooker to last?

"Well the pot and the top are just fine but I just can't find a rubber gasket that will fit the darned thing so that it seals up right. Presto says they don't make that part anymore. How ridiculous is that? I use that pressure cooker to make just about everything."

I know! Soups, and stews, and you even do a pressure cooker pot roast.

"Hmph. Never thought I'd have to go buy another one of these just because a little rubber ring wore out."


"But I'm keeping it. I can't make my home made fudge in any other pot but that one."

You're right, Mom.

(Actually, nobody can make that fudge except her, even with the same pot.)

I wish I were as durable as that old pressure cooker has been. Actually, I wish I were as durable as my 78 year old mother has been.


Anita Rowe Stafford said...

Great share, Julia. Never met your mom, but love her! Wish I had some of that fudge.

Unknown said...

Since its' discovery, your blog has been a joy that I look forward to each day. Your wit and personality just shine through! I love this story. What a great story! You are just a natural born story teller :) I have a primary sjogren's diagnoses, at least I think I do... my rheumy pointed to Anti-Ro SSA positive results, my dry eyes, my tired joints, my fatigue,the body gone awry works and she said "Not ANA positive, so it's not Lupus.. it's Primary Sjogren's! Here is your prescription for Plaquenil" as she hurriedly ran from room to room. That was 2 years ago. Poor thing, I think she forgets who her patients are, what she told them last time and what exactly she had them tested for because she runs about like Chicken Little and forgets to ask what the eye doctor, pulmonologist, cardiologist whom she referred you to said. I smile. I laugh. I try to be a good patient. I hope that they can tell me why my body does such strange things like how come the beautiful sunshine makes me so sick. I digressed... oh, well.. my brain is its' own rogue agent these days :) So, back to the moment at hand...I loved your post about your mom's pressure cooker. And, I get it.... only that pressure cooker will do! My things aren't things, they have stories... all of them. When i use my things it's like a train of happy memories come along too. And i am once again connected to yesterday, friends, holidays, pivotal moments in my life. Something new just won't do! Nothing is like our things that we have lived a life along side. Thank you so much for being witty, proactive, funny, joyful,full of life and blessing!

Gill said...

Julia. What is the pressure cooker made of - aluminium? What is mum cooking in it? We stopped using them years ago because of concerns re relation of certain foods with metal.

Shara from Seattle said...

Awesome story! Those are the stories that our kids should have. I wish I was as physically healthy as my mother. She's 73 and if you walk anywhere you have to ask her to slow down because she gets around so fast. She has great biceps and can make a muscle better than most healthy 73 year olds. God bless 'em. where would we be without then?

Julia Oleinik said...

Gill -- Actually I don't know what it's made of. But it weighs a TON so I'm guessing not aluminum.

Julia Oleinik said...

Kimberly, gosh. Thanks!

annie said...

They don't build things like they used, that's for sure....61 years for a pressure cooker? That's unheard of. It's made of stainless steel, probably, but the bottom is made of iron or enamel, maybe? Good story, Julia.BTW, my Mom's 79 and has more energy in one day that I have in a week or more!Bless our Moms.