Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Good Dishes

Grandmother Stuck's demitasse cup and saucer sitting on
Mother's homework table, built by Grandfather Page
I’m the youngest grandchild on both sides of the family - and female. That can only mean one thing: I have five complete sets of fine china. There would have been six, but I gave one away.  I am heiress apparent of all things domestic.

Wedding china packed in
shredded divorce papers. Oh! The irony!
It took about eight 18”x18”x18” boxes, $75 in bubble wrap and the helping hands of several wonderful friends to transport them to my condo. Recently, I spent a week unwrapping, cleaning and putting away china.

Don’t bother telling me I can sell or donate them. I’ll pass them on someday, but for now, they are precious remembrances of family gone on to the glory feast in Heaven. I need their sweet memories to keep me company.

Neither am I going to turn the china into bird feeders, chandeliers, flower pots or anything else chicly shabby. I’ve had enough of junky craft projects that turn into half-finished clutter. What is the purpose of these re-purposing crafts? Supposedly it’s to find a way to make the china “useful.”  Well, my friends, china already has a purpose. It’s purpose is to party!!!

There are those who think fine china is stuffy and formal. Not so in my family. A table set with the good dishes meant we were about to enjoy delicious recipes handed down for generations. It meant a wonderful evening of witty banter, news of the day, current events and spirited opinions - rather like Facebook, only without quite so many cat videos.

If those five sets of china are sitting on a shelf gathering dust, that means I am too.  How many laughs, debates, discussions, inspiring stories have not rung through my home because I didn’t want to dirty the dishes? Sure, I could use paper plates, but doesn’t Mother Earth deserve the pleasure of our company rather than be covered in our refuse? 

It’s high time to get the china out for it’s intended purpose - to entertain. Getting out the fine china need not be for any reason more special than Tuesday lunch.

Folks today seem to think setting a table with fine china is too much work.  Yet, often the same people spend countless hours making useless nut frames. Nut frames. That’s bug food, people. Bug food. 

So, when are you going to set your table with the good dishes? What happy memories do you associate with your family’s fine china? Take a picture of your good dishes and post the link in the comments below.

UPDATE: Readers sent in their photos!

Jane Gau writes: "this was my Mom's. The Green Depression glass in the cabinet is my collection!"

No comments:

Post a Comment