Every day as she climbs up and down the stairs in her Victorian home of three floors and a basement, Marash Girl recalls a refrain repeated by her mother (known as Grandma Jennie to Nisha, Lorig, Deron & Karoun). Mummy would always call out, as she saw anyone heading upstairs (in her "three-family" home of three floors), "Don't go upstairs empty-handed!" Or when we headed downstairs to the cellar where the pool table abided, "Don't go down empty-handed!" Thus the habit of always leaving little piles at the tops and bottoms of every staircase, awaiting the chance moment when anyone might be headed in either direction! (Years ago, Marash Girl noticed that her cousin did the same, even though her house had only two floors and a cellar! Either her cousin's mother called out to her cousin similarly, or her cousin had heard Auntie Jennie's words of wisdom!) (Marash Girl's mother, by the way, grew up in a three-decker house on Vassal Lane in Cambridge, clearly the source of her daily call of wisdom.)
Years later, Marash Girl developed the wonderful habit of antiquing, and even later, when she moved to the suburbs, of yard-saling (yard-sailing is how it felt) and lo, and behold, she saw the embodiment of her mother's words!
The step-basket! Although Marash Girl did not recognize the basket for what it was (she had to ask), the concept that her mother had taught her all her life was there before her eyes! It was the wisdom of the ages, the wisdom woven into an antique New England basket, a basket handed down for generations, a wisdom handed down for generations.