I sense a stirring in the world of silver plate and sterling hollowware.
There was a time when these lovely but high maintenance items were relegated to the hall closet, or stored in the buffet not to be dealt with. Women with families and busy schedules couldn’t be bothered with such indulgences as keeping up with polishing silver. Entertaining focused on paper plates and napkins, gone were the days of pampering guests.
In this disposable society silver was almost lost. Then something started to happen, maybe it was the aligning of several different moments all at once. People wanting to be more “green,” disposable wasn’t the answer. Couple this with a time of unrest and change, some of which people had no control, seeking out things that are sentimental and timeless seem to give comfort. Perhaps it gave us time to pause on what is really important, slowing down spending time with those we love and making that time have meaning, making the people in our lives feel important. This want of "home" has seemly manifested itself into these hidden wonderful silver objects once forgotten. People are longing for a gentler time when attention was paid to the experience, the getting ready for guests and looking forward to pampering and sharing with those we love.
The act of cleaning these items for some hasn’t seemed like such drudgery. In fact it’s been a time of quiet contemplation while slowly cleaning off the layers of tarnish we see a rebirth in the piece. New hope, yes, something once thought of as a tedious job can be an afternoon of enjoyment. Few things let us have such instant gratification as cleaning a piece of tarnished silver.
So, if you’ve been blessed with inheriting that silver chafing dish, fruit basket or flatware set consider yourself lucky. You are adding your history to this piece and the time you put into its upkeep lets your family members know how much you love them through these small acts of specialness that you impart in your family gatherings.