When the edge is gone.

Our son-in-law Martin launches into contemplative ruminations occasionally, usually about some subject so obscure that no one knows what he’s talking about. We all laugh and pay him no nevermind. Some eyes may glaze over as he rambles.

Not long ago, Leslie and Martin, Peter and I went out to dinner. Leslie and I chattered about this and that, Martin chimed in now and then, and Peter listened, silent as usual.

Into a gap in the conversation Martin said, “You know, Pete reminds me of a well-loved old kitchen knife. A very good knife, once sharp, but a bit dulled by time and use.” Leslie and I chuckled, and Peter smiled as if he got it, but I know he didn’t. Martin was pleased with his metaphor and, I admitted, it was a good one.

Old knives did all sorts of jobs in the right hands — they peeled apples and potatoes, chopped cabbage, loosened sealed jars, dismembered chickens, even acted as screwdrivers in a pinch. Even when they don’t hold their edges anymore, those knives still hold pride of place in kitchen drawers, for sentimental reasons, if for nothing else.


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My great-granddad Tommy’s whetstone and an old knife from my drawer.

Header photo:  Veg for stew or for the compost bin?

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist. 

8 thoughts on “When the edge is gone.

  1. Even when that knife loses its edge, you still reach for it, because you trust it and love it. It is what you know and you keep it safe…occasionally that old knife is needed and you discover that it still works, only differently.

  2. Nice to know there are those who care when life has beaten us down and worn us out. Great work, Judy!

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