This week's assignment is to write a short piece, either fiction or non-fiction, about something ugly - and find the beauty in it.
I found a new recipe to try. I read the ingredients list. I read the instructions. I bought the things I didn't have on hand.
I gathered my goodies on the counter. The ingredients, bowls, a pot, measuring cup, and wooden spoon for mixing. Good to go.
The potatoes were quartered and boiling. The ham cubed and set aside. Sour cream and shredded cheese within reach. It was time to mix, assemble, and bake.
The last step before going into the oven was sprinkling Parmesan cheese flavored bread crumbs on top.
I didn't have Parmesan cheese flavored bread crumbs. But I had bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.
So I combined them, pulled out a whisk to mix them together.
That wasn't working to my satisfaction. Hmmm.
I went to my cupboard full of baking pans. There in the back I found the answer.
It was dented a little bit. It was discolored by age a lot. Dusty from years of disuse. But I knew it would do the job.
The old hand sifter had belonged to my grandmother. I poured the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese into it. And I began to turn the crank.
It made a pleasant noise, "shoosh, shoosh, shoosh".
The crank still had the original wooden ball, worn shiny from use. The metal rod, shaped to fit the sifter canister still brushed the wire sieve at the bottom.
"Shoosh, shoosh, shoosh."
As I turned that crank, I felt a smile happen. The simple beauty of an old fashioned utensil. Still doing the work it was crafted to do.