Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Life is Short - Use Your China

I was reading a comment my step-mom left on another another blog I write (365 Take Aways) and I did as she suggested ... I got out my china last night and used it to serve my husband a nice dinner. Since  I have never seen much sense in recreating the wheel, I found a post I wrote 2 years ago about my china dishes and I hope reposting it will cause some readers to take stock and use their best china for everyday events. Life is short. Use your china! Thanks for the inspiration, Nancy. I love you!
   
Reposted from October 28, 2010:
So, yesterday I was talking with my Martha Stewart friend at work via email (we work in a "silence is golden" office) about my need for some home decorating advise. She said her heart rate increased and her reply to my email request for assistance was in large, teal colored font so I know she's on my team now. I was telling her how I wanted to buy some things to make a nice table for my son & wife's visit, including perhaps some new dinner & dessert plates. And, then she asked the question that changed my life. She asked if I was going to buy everyday dinnerware or something more for harvest or like China. China? Oh crap, I have China! I FORGOT I HAVE CHINA.

When my mom died 9 years ago, it took my dad a year or two to start gifting some of mom's treasures to my sister and me. On one summer trip to North Pole, Alaska, he returned with a large tote full of one of mom's sets of China (she had 2 sets). I got the set I wanted and because we were living in such a small space in AZ, I just left it in the tote. After we moved to our current home, I unpacked it all, washed it and placed it up in this really awesome showcase shelving that has glass doors which separates my kitchen from the dining room. What a revelation to remember that I have China. It made me giddy just like my friend was when I asked her to help me with some decorating tips. Now, I have a starting point for a beautiful table setting.

The China was a gift my dad gave to my mom from one of his tours while he was in the Navy. My dad served in the Korean war and I think he spent some time in Japan and Korea, although please don't quote me. I'll have to do some inquiring the next time I talk to him. He doesn't talk about it much, not because he was traumatized, but I think because it was a really long time ago. When he does talk about it, he tells of the bloated bodies that were washed up on shore. He may tell other parts of his story but that's truly the only part I ever remember. (I should have gone into forensics ~ I'm always far too interested in morbid things.) The China. Yeah, I'll have to ask dad more about the story of the China ...

The China is now my China. I really love it and it honestly just now made me get a big lump in my throat and tears in my eyes thinking about it. It's very beautiful, simple, strong but delicate, very much like mom. She only used it a handful of times that I can remember. She got it out on Thanksgiving and Christmas and the rest of the time it was hidden away. It has sweet, little pink roses and a tiny gold ring around the edges. I remember thinking we were really living large when we got the China out. It was "Made in Japan". Whew, so happy it wasn't made in China. I don't really have anything against the Chinese, I just don't like their cheap crap.

I know it will make my dad happy that I'm using the China. I wish I would have thought of it a couple of weeks ago when he and Nancy were here. I would have served the chicken tortilla soup in the China soup bowls and perhaps I would have heard stories about the China and his tour in Korea and Japan.

As I'm proof reading this post, I know I've capitalized China probably incorrectly but I've done so because it has meaning to me and the capitalization is so the reader will know this is not just any old set of dishes. It's "The China". love, Susan

10 comments:

  1. Awe Susan... I remember it well! I'm so happy to hear that you are using your China!! Good for you!
    Oh how I want to blog... but must move on to my workout... must stay on schedule! LOL Love you! Tara

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    1. Oh, the pork chop and salad with corn muffins was so much better on The China! Love ya back!

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  2. Ahhhhhhh you making tears on my face. Thanks so very much for that Sue. Love how you say " The China " It is a memory of love and a walk down that old road we seem to travel a lot as we get older. Your pictures and bog are a great way to remember what and when. Live every day like your last and I love that saying LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL. To many more great memories and have a cup of tea for me in "The China" cup.

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    1. Do you know I've only used that China once? Isn't that ridiculous? I'm going to move it to a more convenient place this weekend. Can't use it all the time ... Gene would surely put it in the microwave by accident.

      :-)

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  3. I love this!

    I had an aunt give us hr china and silverware with the requirement that we use those dishes on a regular basis. You can run real silverware through the dishwasher.

    Every meal on those dishes feels like an homage to Aunt Wilma. :)

    PS: As soon as I read this, my guess was that the "Martha Stewart" friend was TL. Love you both! :)

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    1. Love back to you! Don't you just love these things that make good connections with the past. Now when I get out my China, not only do I think of my mom and dad, I get to think of TL also. It's accumulative! LOL!!

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  4. Erin and I started using our china everyday back in the 80s. When she wondered about not having any to inherit I reminded her that she would love the memories of eating in style and elegance much more. She broke the first tea cup when she was probably eight. We laughed about it recently. She confessed how confused she was when I said "It's only china." Poor thing thought she was in trouble.

    I should start buying replacements for the missing pieces someday soon, but the dinner plates are so expensive. Maybe I should start with the tea cup. :) I want her to "inherit" an intact set some day.

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  5. I like your article. Just one note: Whew, so happy it wasn't made in China. I don't really have anything against the Chinese, I just don't like their cheap crap. An FYI: China was created in China not Japan. A lot of things made in china last because of the workmanship. Many things made in China has surpassed anything made here. Unfortunately, the demand from the US to create cheap products have lead to this negative view that what is made in China is cheap. So before you call things in china cheap...visit China. You will be surprised. By the way I am from the US. : )

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    1. P.S. I'd rather have my mouth taped shut than to offend anyone. Please accept my apology if my tongue-in-cheek comment offended you or anyone. I agree that it is by demand that we have created a world where everything is "throw away". I truly appreciate the feedback and will try to use restraint when making off-handed remarks while writing ... but there are no guarantees that I won't ever do it again.

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