To most everyone, this is just an ordinary pan – small, well-used, teflon chipped in a place or two, and a coating of burnt grease on the bottom. This is my favorite pan.
Sure, there are other pans in the set, but I’ve grown fond of this one. It’s great for scrambled eggs, some diced peppers and onions, or a pound of hamburger. It’s functional and does its job well. The handle is balanced to the weight, unlike the others, and it’s comfortable to use.
Why am I talking about a pan? This pan holds a part of my memory. When I use this pan, the scrambled eggs do not cook instantaneously by any means. I am standing there, watching, pushing with my bamboo utensil in time to keep the eggs from sticking. Take my eyes off them for a moment, and they won’t turn out fluffy enough. (Yes, fluffy eggs are important.) I’ve practiced making scrambled eggs enough now that there’s not a lot of thought required. My mind is allowed to wander; sometimes, I’m even allowed to think or remember.
This pan (set) was a gift to me – a gift from my parents. My best shot at giving a year would be 2010. I was just moving into my second apartment in Lincoln, in the Highlands on 1st Street. This was the last apartment I lived in before getting married in July of 2011. The most important word from that first sentence of this paragraph is “parents.” Plural. In February of 2011, my dad suddenly passed away. When someone this close to you leaves your presence, objects around you sometimes just as suddenly hold a new, greater level of meaning. I didn’t realize how much meaning this pan held for me until just a few months ago. I am hesitating on this next part of “how” this realization came to me. Story in short: My mother-in-law was using an old pan that I’m surprised could even be found, on high, and it kind of bit the dust. Bless her heart, she bought us a new one, and I really did not care one bit about that other pan. I digress…
On the bottom of this pan, it says, “The BIG One,” which is kind of ironic, since this is the smallest pan of the set. If you knew my dad, you would know that if he was going to get something, he would want it to be as nice or as reasonably big at the time. Our first camper was a popup and, over the years, was traded until we had a giant fifth wheel. His four-wheelers got bigger, hunting accessories became greater… you get the picture. I can only imagine that he thought this pan set was fit for his daughter.
I would like to not give so much meaning to possessions or objects, but some day, this pan – my favorite pan – will become unusable or we will purchase a new set and put these away. Although there are no new memories I can create with my dad, I still have this one.