One of today’s finds was a large tub of Tang with a date of 2010. But the real work today was finding all the pieces to my grandmother’s china. I sorted out a 6-place setting which I will give to a family who has traditions of gatherings at the table. I saved out some settings which my family will use. But all the extras (and there are many) will go away. I found tea settings, teapot, serving bowls, fruit plates, platters, creamer and sugar, lots of extras that I never use. It’s a beautiful set with gold trim and all in great shape.
I am sure my grandmother bought this shortly after WWII, after her family moved from Detroit to a city on the west coast. She grew up in poverty, then through the Depression. My grandfather, a mechanic, lost his fingers in a work accident and probably could not work in the booming auto industry. After their son returned from the war, the entire family moved west and the kids all worked to support their parents. The china to me symbolized the new life they must have experienced after the war… better days, affluence, a nice home, cars and then the grandkids that came with the baby boom….including me.
I spent many weekends with my grandma, and she allowed me to have tea with her every afternoon as a tradition. We used her tea settings and china on her lace tablecloth with the crystal chandelier above our heads.
There is not one person from that large family alive today. The china is a striking reminder that time moves on and there is an impermanence in possessions.