Susan over at e-i-e-i-omg! wrote a sweet post yesterday featuring her mother's lovely set of dishes now in her possession. Among other things, Susan commented that these special dishes (her mother's "good" set) held many memories of her.
I've got to be honest and admit I've never understood having an everyday set of dishes and a "good" set of dishes. Why should I have a "good" set that I use only when having company? Why not use those "good" dishes everyday for those people I love the most and who are nearest and dearest to me? What!? They should get the "inferior" dishes to eat off of? No, I should use the "good" dishes for them. (Or maybe I would pull out the plain, old, not-so-nice, everyday dishes for company I wasn't really crazy about.)
I grew up in a household that did, indeed, have two sets of dishes. My mom's good dishes were lovely. Small, delicate rosebuds on a white background. (Come to think of it, what happened to those dishes? I have no idea where they are. Do you have them, brother of mine?) Mom took them out whenever a special dinner was served or the holiday season rolled around.
I've had only one set of dishes all my years of married life. Hubby's aunt gave us a wedding gift of money to put toward household dishes. We ate off a tinware camping set of dishes until I decided on the real dishes I wanted. My choice was Franciscan dinnerware in the Apple pattern. These were the only dishes I had and I used them year in and year out for about forty years.
Then one year for Christmas my mom gave me a set of holiday dishes so I started taking them out for Thanksgiving and using them through the holidays and then putting them away again after New Year's. What a pain! I didn't have any extra room to store the dishes in the house so when I brought out the holiday dishes, I had to pack my Apple dishes away in boxes and carry them back to a storage shed and arrange the holiday dishes in my kitchen cabinets. Come the first of January, I would reverse the process, pack away the holiday dishes and bring the everyday dishes back into the house. Well, that time-consuming, arduous process didn't last too many years, let me tell you.
So the holiday dishes ended up staying permanently packed away in the storage shed for several years. I mentioned to my daughter that I was thinking of selling them (no, I'm usually not a saver . . . if I don't use it, I get rid of it) but because they were from her grandma, she said she would like them. So that's where the lovely set of holiday dishes now lives, at my daughter's.
Okay, now I must confess that I lied to you. The Franciscan dinnerware is not the only set of dishes (besides the brief period that the holiday dishes complicated my life) I have had for everyday use.
When I started quilting, I made quilted place mats and some quilted tablecloths I really enjoy using. But the bold coloring and design of my Apple dishes severely limited the fabrics and colors I could use on the quilted projects. I got it into my head that I wanted an all-white set of dishes that would enable me to go wild with my choice of quilting fabrics for the table. I looked for two or three years but couldn't find a set of plain white dishes that I both liked and could afford.
Then a couple of years ago, my dear brother-in-law heard of my quest for new dishes. It just so happened that he owned a ceramics business and one of the contracts he had was to produce the Bauer line of pottery. He sent me a complete set of all-white dishes (refusing any payment!) which I've been using since then.
No, I didn't sell my Apple dishes. They are boxed up and stored in a safe place, because my daughter said she'd never speak to me again if I sold them as they hold so many memories from her growing up years. For some reason, I'm not ready to hand them over to her (she'd gladly accept them . . . her holiday dishes must be lonely) quite yet because . . . well, they hold lots of memories for me, too. After all I used them for over forty years day in and day out. They were my good dishes, my bad dishes, my everyday dishes . . . and I can't part with them.