As my mother and I sat in her kitchen packing things up, we realized that I didn't have a rolling pin. This certainly wasn't a calamity, I didn't anticipate making all that many pie crusts (certainly not in the early weeks when we didn't even have an apartment of our own yet), but my mother thought I should have one and offered me one of the two she had.
One was a fairly standard rolling pin - a cylinder which spun along an axle as you held the handles on each side. Perfectly serviceable. Fairly new even.
The second one pulled from way in the back of the shelf looked different. It was much longer and much thinner, and tapered at each end. There was no rolling cylinder, no spinning. It was little more than a long thin dowel. I'd never seen one quite like it, it certainly wasn't the one my mother used when she baked.
I learned that that second rolling pin had belonged to my great-grandmother, who had died when I was five. I vaguely remember a very old woman in a nursing home, but I was much too young to know her when she was still living, and baking, on her own. She'd had a reputation as an incredible baker though. The kind who made wonderful things without a recipe, using only her special glass to measure - a glass of this, a half a glass of that... (Years later my grandmother, deathly afraid that she'd accidentally break the glass one day and lose all her mother's recipes, decided to measure it. It was exactly one cup.)
There was no contest. That old piece of wood was just calling out to me. It needed to be used, not left languishing on a back shelf.
The rolling pin was over 100 years old when I got it. I often imagine my great-grandmother carefully rolling out her pie crust or her dough and wonder what she would think to know that her old rolling pin had crossed the ocean and is now rolling out crust for quiches and pizzas and even the occasional Rosh Hashana apple pie for her great-granddaughter's family in far away Israel, a country that didn't even exist yet when she was using it, but a land that her husband always dreamed of seeing someday.
I think she'd like it.