Memories of Dishes


Dishes.  Most tell a story.  Mine do.  Dishes are something Kristin and I have always liked.  Our back closets and hutches are filled with mismatched stacks and candles and such.  Years ago we would roam flea markets and yard sales looking for the perfect vintage pattern with sticky toddlers in tow, babies hung ’round our necks and pushing strollers with twisted wheels.  We would find an odd piece here and there, a stapled together repaired old teapot (yes, metal staples!), a single cup and saucer – mixed in with the perfect lamp base (missing a shade) or a pastel loop of rickrack from a grandmother’s sewing bag.

We always believed in using our dishes, the good ones too.  Our dishes have served each other a tuna fish sandwich or an “empty-out-the-fridge-of-leftovers-salad” (rice works, we’ve tried it!)  Our dishes have served more than one birthday cake!   We’ve used our dishes for parties, for showers and for evening morsels!  Chances are that if you’re in our homes, you won’t be getting your food on a paper plate most of the time.  We’d rather you enjoy being our guest ~ and if that means hand washing a stack of vintage plates after you’ve gone, we’ll do it happily knowing we went a little out of the way to make you feel special.  Because it’s not really about the dishes after all.  It’s about sharing a moment, a meal, a memory.  And, that memory lasts for us… even as the last soap bubble splashes down the drain.

So, you can imagine the emotion when Kristin brought over a milk crate of her dishes to my home right before we all moved that one summer almost seven years ago.  I was in the kitchen and here she came, choking back tears, “I want you to have them”.  It wasn’t just them.  It was the act that they held.  The memories. The meaning. The moments we had enjoyed.  She was passing the torch.  At that moment, Kristin’s family was letting go and taking a journey down a path into the unknown.  They were uprooting.  They couldn’t bring much along.  And, breakable china was not coming with.  My eyes got blurry.  “I don’t want to take your dishes!!”  Meaning:  “I don’t want you to go.  And, I don’t want to leave either.”  She answered:  “You have to.”

And, then, they sat, stacked and toppled on my newly replaced bleached wood kitchen floor, a memorial to the life and meals our families had shared.


We hope you share your memories and dishes with us at LoveFeast Table tomorrow on Fancy Friday Dishes!

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  1. I’ve just started collecting some fun dishes, mainly inspired by you all! I think I’m just going to end up with a big mismatched set, but no worries, right?!

  2. ChrisAnn says:

    Dishes are like people…they all get to be different and treasured!! The more “styles” the merrier I say!

  3. A lovely gesture. A beautiful post. I love pretty dishes too. I do. They do tell a story and the hunt for them at yard sales and thrift stores is always a pleasure and an adventure!

  4. I remember during one our organizing frenzies, I tried to get you to part with a stack of chipped, yet beautiful dishes. You had big plans to create a mosaic table out of them. I hope you kept them, I can’t remember. Sorry, some things are just too good to purge. Oh, BTW, your empty-out-the-fridge-of-leftovers-salads are the best! I was just fondly recalling them.

  5. Heidi, I still have those chipped dishes. They are still waiting to be re-purposed into a table or to be stuck into a garden pot. I remember too many a salad shared together…along side a big glass of your perfected iced tea!

  6. I never had an affinity to dishes. When I was growing up, my family ate off of cheap melamine plates. Mom had “good china” that she had gotten for her wedding, but it was packed away and never used. Same with the utensils – we used stainless flatwear in a very plain pattern and never touched the “good silver.”

    After Mom died, I discovered her hoard of “good” serving items – the “china,” so carefully packed away in fitted and padded slipcovers, was Corelle, and the “silver” was just a fancier stainless pattern.

    I have real china and real silver, but I seldom entertain so never use the stuff. And my house has little or no storage space, so there’s no room for fancy serving platters or little dishes (although I have a few).

    Hmm…seems like I should write my own blog post on the topic, eh? 🙂

  7. We are firm believers that even fancy china should be used for everyday! Better used and appreciated then tucked away in boxes. Try a making a sandwich for lunch and putting it on a “fancy” dish. Let us know if it tastes better!

  8. Oh, beautiful post! Made me get all misty-eyed… Love it.


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