Sunday, January 10, 2010

tidying up a bit

I did a bit of rearranging  and dusting of the china hutch today.  This is a small fraction of the china and glassware that I own.  Before I had children I entertained a great deal.


Almost never.

I have no idea why.

Mark and I have no friends in common, so it is always a bit odd, I suppose to have parties, with his or my friends, and it feels like I know fewer and fewer people as time goes on.

Never the less I persist in keeping all of this crap around collecting dust.  It makes me happy to see it sitting there, I suppose.

Almost none of has any family connection, nothing inherited.

The reality of my family is that pretty much no one had anything inheritable.

My great grandmother had some depression area arts and crafts pottery and Fiestaware, but it was utilitarian at the time it was purchased, and long since given away to Goodwill by the time I was interested in collectibles.

Most of the people in my family were lucky to have a pot to piss in, as the old saying goes.

No one was messing around with fine china.

I have a lovely set of crystal that belonged to my grandparent's neighbors, that were like parents to my mother.  Very special people.  Their own daughter had no interest in any of their belongings when they died, and gave the contents of the house to my mother.  She gave me the things that were not to her taste, ornate glasses, gilded dessert plates, and some vintage cookbooks.  I am happy to be the protector of their special things.  

My grandmother, like me, liked to buy the odd piece that caught her fancy, at thrift stores.  I have a few things that belonged to her, but they were just things she picked up and stored away in a china cabinet, when she was older, never anything she used for special occasions.

In her last years, before she died, she had taken to purchasing sets of hideous stoneware, with duck and goose motifs that she really loved.

Man was her taste ever rotten, but she took a lot of pleasure from having dinner with those duck plates and even glasses.   Glasses  painted with garish geese smiling at you from under sunbonnets.
 That is what she liked right before she died.

I think I offended her by saying I didn't want them when she was gone.

What I wanted was a greenglass Fireking bowl, with a spout and a handle, for pouring batter.

Here, take it now, take it home with you, I never make pancakes anymore.

I never make pancakes either, but I am happy for the bowl.

When I was five she bought me a china tea set, from Bush's furniture store in Oregon City.

My grandparents bought every stick of furniture they ever owned from the Bush family store in Oregon City.

Old Mr. Bush allowed my grandmother to pay things off on layaway, when they first moved to Portland during the war, and she rewarded him with fifty some years of loyal patronage.

Why they were carrying a big,  fancy child's teaset, I have no idea, but she bought it for me for my fifth birthday, and I have it still, or at least most of it.  The bad man broke several pieces when he helped me moved from NW to NoPo in 1997, and I am still pissed off about it.

I thought about giving it to Freyja for her birthday, but I am not that generous, and she is not that careful.     

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