Thursday, October 4, 2007

of love, broken dishes and what matters most

We eat off mis-matched china dishes.

I am not saying it is Larry's fault.

When I was just starting out on my own, living in an efficiency apartment in S.C., I used to frequent junk stores. I purchased my furniture, pots, dishes there. Nothing matched. I would laugh and call my decorating style 'Early Poverty". Today those stores are called Antique Stores and I still look for old fashioned junk stores.

I am not saying that this is Larry's fault.

I like mis- matched cups and saucers, luncheon plates and soup bowls. I enjoy serving sloppy casserole meals on old trenchers discarded by greasy spoon diners.
I have Grandma's fine china way up high in a cupboard. A lovely old set of Haviland. Now and then I find a matching piece. I used to serve special people, on a special occasions special meals on these treasures. But then I had children and I stopped that. Melamine was good enough for those little ankle biters. I didn't have to worry about dings, chips, cracks or little bare feet getting sliced open by an errant sliver of china or glass.

I am not saying that this is Larry's fault.

Occasionally I find an exceptionally lovely plate or saucer and I bring it home. I like to think about the sumptuous feasts served upon them, what polite dinner conversation would have been parlayed. Please note that this is important to me because for far too many years as a single mother I would hear "Josh is letting spaghetti noodles hang from his nose again, Mom".
Where am I going with this, you ask? You should know by now that I ramble. My mind is always doing that!

I am not saying that this is Larry's fault either.

I didn't mean to get attached to a crazed plate which cost a mere 49 cents at the local thrift. It wasn't worth more than that, truly. It was old enough to have the gilt almost nearly rubbed off. There was a hairline crack, so faint only a collector's eye would have discarded it. I would eat delicious chicken salad sandwiches, with chips and a dill slice on the side from it. Even a humble P B & J sammich tasted better when served on this dish. It was my favorite 49 cent plate.
Larry used to work as a short order cook years ago. He has an appreciation for the thick diner discards I serve him suppers on. His face absolutely glows with fond recollections of slinging hash. He does the dishes now that the kids are grown and gone. We don't have an automatic dishwasher. Who needed one when I had children? They knew Mom would inspect their handiwork - but Luscious? well, who would need to supervise him? He of the slick diner floors and heavy hammy hands?

I have a "dish garden" out back, a graveyard of bone china so to speak. People think I am clever. But Larry knows better. He KNOWS better.

Yesterday evening after he washed, I went in the kitchen to dry and put away. My beloved plate was in the drainer. I was as oblivious as Larry until I found the offending chard in my palm.

Now that was Larry's fault.

He buried it out back amongst the hen and chicks,morning glories and late blooming cosmos. And that is why Grandma's Haviland is hidden.

But don't tell Larry.


Cheryl said...

I love it! I have a friend who says she decorates in "early Salvation Army! ;)hugs, cheryl

Dixie Redmond said...

That's a great story - my sayings are "Late Attic" and "Early Basement".

Donna said...

How funny, sounds like my Larry! Just stopped by, pretty site!

Sandra Evertson said...

That's the cutest story!
Sandra Evertson

Amy Wagner said...

I loved, loved, loved this post!
Blondie, you are the most! I think dishes of all kinds are fun to use together. I too have become attached to some of them. I too have the "good stuff" up there put away. If the "good stuff" makes an appearance the kids say, "Wow! Who's coming Mom???!"

She'sSewPretty said...

I think Larry has been to my house too. My stack of dishes grows shorter all the time, but, no one knows where the plates go. hmmm Very cute post!

Mrs. Staggs said...

What a charming and fun blog you have! I've enjoyed my visit, thank you.
Thank you too, for the kind words that you left in Merryville. I appreciate them.
Best wishes!