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    The Loewenthal Egg Cups

    I’m not sure how many years ago, but I remember ever since I was a little girl my mother eating soft-boiled eggs from her coveted eggcups. Passed down from her mother, the eggcups helped make something as pedestrian as soft-boiled eggs special. It took some time to go through the process of cracking the egg, slicing horizontally across the top without getting eggshell in the egg. Then comes taking a small spoon and scraping out the egg white from the top shell. The next step involved going into the main body of the egg shell and scraping out the guts, ie., the yolk and the rest of the egg white.

    I used to watch my Mom with nothing less than amazement as she went through this detailed process. Between each bite, she would either sip coffee or have bites of a bagel or toast, which ever she was having accompanying her eggs. It seemed to take her forever to get through the meal.

    Interestingly enough, I have completely embraced this behavior as well as mimicked it with the addition of making it almost ceremony-like when it comes to choosing which particular egg cup I use. I think of my grandparents each time I use these eggcups, and am reminded of a time when each individual egg was precious as food was scarce in Europe in that era.

    Each time my Mom hesitatingly allows me to have another of her precious eggcup collection, it is always with an admonition, "Do not put this in the dishwasher or use it carelessly. This is part of your inheritance and part of your family history. It is only because I know you love them so much that I allow you to have them while I am still alive."

    It is as if she has given me a precious part of her past which I must carry on in the family tradition in order to make sense of my own existence. Herman has never really gotten infected with the whole eggcup ritual, but he does understand the idea of carrying on the family tradition.

    I honestly think I am the only one of my siblings who bothers to eat an egg this way. Because I think I am the only one who really cares to take the time to treasure ritual and family history. Plus, I am "blessed" with having a tremendous amount of free time, and the freedom to not have to rush off to work, car pools, and the usual mundane stuff associated with having children. This is in large part due to a choice, and a very small part having to do with my being in a wheelchair.

    The Loewenthal eggcups have become an important part of my past and now my present. The only thing I have left to do is find a worthy person to carry on this tradition.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"