Never underestimate a pepper grinder

I got a new pepper grinder in December.  And she’s REALLY pretty (see above photo for evidence).  And that probably seems like a super boring thing to share but there is more than meets the eye to this pepper grinder situation on my hands.  I’m all for making pretty choices anywhere in my home that I am able and I’ve always appreciated aesthetically pleasing everyday items but I am not really an overly sentimental person and objects don’t typically hold a lot of value for me so I was caught off guard when I found myself in a headspace where objects mattered in an unexpected way.

There are a million thoughts and stories I could share regarding life after divorce and everyone who finds themselves walking that road has a unique experience. I would also say, most would agree that figuring out how to close that piece of your life and begin to figure out who you are outside of what was built with another person can be freeing, disorienting, full of grief and possibility and often overwhelming.  In the process of reorienting my life, one thing that has caught me a bit off guard throughout the last twelve years post-divorce, is how the various objects in my house that came with me from my “old life” would just get under my skin.  While I am thankful I wasn’t left with four babies and an empty house, I underestimated the weight some of these objects would carry from nearly 10 years of marriage, given that I’m not much of a “things” person.  Some of them I loved regardless, hello Kitchen Aid mixer, some of them I loathed, looking at you marriage dishes, some of them are just buried away (photo albums are still really weighty) and some of them have just brought pure annoyance, que an endless list.  And these things didn’t stick out all at once. Its been quite a process. Sometimes it sneaks up on me and then the measuring spoons I’ve been using since 2002 suddenly aggravate the mess out of me and I go on a mission to find a replacement as soon as I’m able.  I have spent years slowly replacing furniture with pieces I love and that felt like “us”.  Cheers to Facebook Marketplace for the many good finds throughout the years.  On a small, single income budget, it has taken some time but I have slowly replaced nearly all the furniture in our home and with every piece felt a sense of pride and a spark of joy. I might have even driven 2.5 hours once to pick up an ottoman that was perfect for our living room. No regrets. I still love it. My most recent replacement purchase was a beautiful vintage piece that found its way into my entry space.  Every time I walk past it, I love it and feel as though that little nook has new found peace that is a reflection of me.  To my count, I have three pieces of furniture left to replace…so close to the finish line!

The kitchen has been another story.  Much like the furniture, I’ve slowly replaced things over the years but it’s taken a while because kitchen stuff is functional and you kinda need it.  I got new pots and pans because let’s face it, nobody wants to dredge up early marriage memories every night they go to cook.  I sold the dishes and the flatware. The coffee grinder finally pooped out so I could justify purchasing that beautiful white Breville one that I love so much (highly recommend!). I found new glassware and coffee cups. The kitchen has mostly taken on a new life of its own with a few lingering annoyances.  It’s a process which has been weirder and longer than I expected but I suppose it’s strangely congruent with the process of healing and grief.

Coming back to the pepper can already see it coming.  Early in December I was preparing my morning breakfast sandwich when my dumb old pepper grinder, which had been a wedding gift, by the way, grabbed my attention. I have never liked it, and it wasn’t anything fancy but it worked so there it remained, like a bad bra…functional yet annoyingly ill fitting and definitely not aesthetically pleasing to me. I don’t know why it grabbed my attention that morning but I had had it with that grinder and its obnoxious lingering around on my counter top.  It was like I had a sudden vendetta against it and I could not get rid of that piece of my past soon enough!  I have never googled anything faster and I was ready to make that purchase and call it a day.  While there are pepper grinders galore to choose from, one instantly caught my attention. It was from a company called Addison Ross which was new to me. Since I’m a roll with comparing pepper grinders to bras, I’d say Addison Ross is the La Perla of pepper grinders, taking something ordinary and functional and making it elevated and beautiful. I knew that beauty belonged in my kitchen. Choosing a color was the only difficult part of the decision because I wanted them all and if you look it up you will know what I mean.  I placed my order and declared it to be my Christmas gift to myself and waited anxiously for its arrival all while giving the death stare to the marriage pepper grinder in the meantime. It did not disappoint when it arrived.  She looks like she belongs in a much more luxurious kitchen than mine, with its baseboards that need repainted, chipping cabinets and mismatched appliances but I have never loved a pepper grinder more. I immediately and shamelessly threw that old pepper grinder in the trash and said sayonara. And yes, I realize I could have donated it, and judge if you want, but the trash really seemed like the only appropriate place for it to go. 

I guess the entire point of this story is simply to note that life is super weird sometimes, with its wildly unpredictable twists.  Some twists of course being good,  yet some that leave you feeling utterly broken and unsure how to move forward.  I think grief and healing are a slow and lifelong process which I have come to recognize and embrace as a great mercy.  I am not the most patient in nature and tend to want to close the hard chapters quickly and just move on from the unchosen, difficult, deeply upsetting thing because, it happened and I can’t change that but life still has to go on after all.  For what its worth, trying to apply logic to life’s tragedies also doesn’t work so well. 😉  I’m oddly thankful that moments of grieving are not a water hose that we have to deal with all at one time because we would literally drown.  But most of all, I’m really thankful for the moments of grieving that look like a deep revenge against random kitchen objects which result in something really beautiful.  Who knew a pepper mill would carry so much weight and then bring me so much joy.  Life is weird.  And I highly recommend the pepper mill.  



Adulting, Sparks of Joy




Never underestimate a pepper grinder

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