"Your father and I finally decided to spend some real money on dishes for special occasions!" (she doesn't think I remember these things, but I do)
I came home, probably from college, to find this dinnerware that was not at all like the Kate Spade designs you seen in the finest stores, or the matching sets from Dillard's. One plate had a ship on it, all done in pastels, another with a green and white farm scene mid 18th century. This was to be her "fine" china?! And the silverware, the "real silver" silverware that they had finally decided upon, all with someone else's initials on them. Wait and that fork, is that the head of a horse I see? A crest of arms on that knife?!
Every single piece of dining ware, every plate, was different. Every single knife, fork and spoon, was unique. All of the pieces were old and antique and completely distinct from one other.
I loved all of it. I still do.
I love polishing that silverware and setting the table.(The plate with the ship in the middle is my favorite over all, you all know which one I'm talkin' about). They spark the imagination and add a whole other dimension to the meal beyond just the food. For me they make a special meal that much more special and unique. Each piece has a story to tell, each piece has been on someone else's table, who knows how long ago, celebrating, remembering, being used, just as we do now. And now my mom and dad and their family, our family, gets to continue that story and be a part of it.
This morning we went to one of my favorite places. The starocie. Actually we've been to a couple this week but mostly only for looking, for the future and for a few pieces of furniture that I would like to have now for our living room. One in particular we pop into every now and then to see if any new pieces have been dropped off that we could use. Nothing new or worthwhile today. Then we ambled upstairs where they keep all the knick knacks and dishes and old clothes. I love looking through all things old, piled on top of each other, given away by some family, eventually taken in by another. Maybe ours. Its true that now our home is like an IKEA showroom right down to the plastic dishes in the cupboard and the curtains on the windows but it won't always be like that. As the plans for the house begin to come together finally and we walk through it in our minds I can already see where I will have a certain little cabinet here. A sideboard with my own dishes and silverware there, and all those other little special pieces that I find along the way to make our house a home.
Martin laughs because all the things I like, the old things, are, in Poland, now considered to be completely out of fashion, out of style. Modern is very "in" right now. I like classic. This all sounds great to me, more variety, and not a lot of competition, right? Wonderful! I won't share everything I found but I did come home with two little porcelain cups with unique handles shown in the pictures above. I liked them because the handles were so convenient for holding and pouring. But I have no idea what they were originally used for? Tea? Sauces? Regardless of what they were meant to be for, I will be using them as they work for us and so they will have a whole new meaning, a new use, in our home. Perfect.