This is my lovely old Hobart mixer. She’s looking pretty good for 69. Sometimes she gets a little feisty and tosses her contents out of the bowl. I think this is her way of reminding me who is in charge, who has been mixing bread batters and cookie doughs for longer than I’ve been alive. Legacy isn’t something that often crosses the mind of a twentysomething. But legacy is the reason I’m here at all. Most of my family history has been learned kneading dough and rolling out sugar cookies with my grandmothers. Some of my earliest memories involve Sunday night family dinners at Nanny’s house, the smell of from-scratch Parker House rolls wafts through my nostalgia. I can feel the exhilarating squish of mixing butter, powdered sugar, and coconut for Martha Washington candies with my bare hands just like my great-grandmother taught Nanny to do, listening in eager anticipation to stories of farm life and bygone days. Reading over yellowed recipe cards with Grandma’s perfect cursive script, I’m transported to another era, where my uncle would steal sticks of butter to eat when no one was looking and my mom had to elbow her way past her brothers to get room at the table. Traditions of grace gathered in hand-held circles and strawberry pies at Easter. Family secrets and recipes passed down like family names. Remembering that I am but one part in a chain that extends far beyond any living recollection. This old mixer reminds me how brief my time on this earth is, how precious grandparents are, and why we ought to care for all the old ladies in our lives.