Monday, September 12, 2011

A-One Movers and NOT a Hope Chest


The novice Penske driver did an excellent job and all of the delicate furniture made it with wobbly curved glass etc. intact!  Even the old geezer driving the truck and trailer got his load with the workshop and yard equipment, mirrors and TV there without a mishap!

Whew!  Balancing out the charges that we'd have entailed for these items with the cost of renting the Penske and the fuel, we still came out a couple of thousand dollars richer.  Crazy!

The 2 horse trailer has been left behind at the rental and they're headed home now.  Tomorrow I'll have Joe to order around help here with the packing.

It's T minus 3 days until closing and 10 days until moving day!!

I packed the rest of the dining room yesterday so thought I'd share the story of my china and silver.

I chose each of them when I was in elementary school!  I was entering 6th grade when my mother decided that we would take a mother-daughter outing to Rider's Jewelers in Baton Rouge and I could choose a silver and china pattern to start collecting.  It probably sounded kind of kooky to me even then, but at that gawky stage, I imagine that I was up for anything that made me feel more grown up, so off we went.

And here I am an old middle-aged lady and still as in love with both of them as I was then.

My mother made it VERY plain to the ladies at the store and to friends later that this was NOT a "hope chest" being started.  She was adamant that this was intended to get me started collecting something and was not in the least about getting married.  Her exact words were that "whether I was married or not", I'd be setting up a house of my own one day and I'd want "nice things."

When Joe and I married, our first joint purchase was a massive old blue Ford tractor, (we didn't notice until later that the serial numbers had been wiped out on it.... we were so enamored with the new paint job!), so maybe it was a good thing that my mother provided me with a head start on the pretty things!

The thought was that my parents could give me occasional gifts and I could spend my babysitting money on something permanent that would never be outgrown or worn out.

I was drawn like a moth to the flame when I saw the "W-595 Columbia Enameled" plate amid the display of other Wedgwood patterns and I knew that was "the one."  Since it was so unlike anything that my mother would ever have chosen (we were radically different and I was decidedly a Daddy's girl), I know she didn't steer me toward it.  To her credit she didn't try to dissuade me either!

For the silver, my mother rightly suggested that I chose one of the more simple classic patterns so as not to compete with the wild china pattern.  Gorham Chantilly was my choice and though it doesn't make my heart sing like the china, I still love it too and honestly wouldn't choose another.

People usually say "How lucky that you still like it and that your tastes didn't change!"

But you know what has changed?  The bland brown everday stoneware pattern that I picked out as a bride-to-be?..... Yuck!  And it's long gone!

I wonder if as a young child,  I was able to go with what my heart wanted and loved: colorful hand-painted roses and little peeps of blue flowers with wild looking gold griffins and more colors than you could shake a stick at?!

If I had picked a pattern at aged 21 or older, I'd probably have gone more sedate.... You know something that could match anything, something that food is supposed to look good on, something "classic" and subdued.  Adult talk.  Blah, blah, blah.   So I guess I've got what my inner child picked.... and I smile whenever I look at it.

Back in the day, I'd save money from babysitting or birthdays and buy a shrimp cocktail fork or an olive spoon... it was all pretty scattered.  There was never an effort to get place settings etc, just whatever struck my fancy.  My mother might bring home a spoon she saw at an antique shop or I might receive a salad plate for a Christmas present.  And like the old hope chest idea, I did keep them all stowed away in one of my dresser drawers!

When I stayed in  London for three weeks as a Sophomore in college, my friends were searching for souvenirs to bring home.  Most went looking for Fair Isles or Irish Fisherman sweaters (remember those?) which are probably long outgrown!  My fellow Pennsylvania students shook their heads in disbelief at their wacky southern friend who had a china pattern, but I struck out one day for the Wedgwood store on Regent Street and had these two bowls shipped home.

They're still going strong 36 years later while the Fair Isles sweater that I bought went to the trash heap many years ago!!

Now that I've wasted an hour composing this post, I need to get back to packing!

So much to do.... and I'd rather be doing anything else!

Where is that magic wand when I need it?


  1. good thing your hubby wasn't home to watch you waste all this good packing time on this post! i do love that you love what you picked out so young!!!

  2. How lovely! That's a beautiful story behind your china and silver; makes it all the more special!

  3. Beautiful and that's coming from a man who usually doesn't look past what's ON the plate!

    As you wend your way north if you're using I-81 blow the horn and wave when you pass the 68.6 mile marker and I'll probably wave back. I spend an inordinate amount of time outdoors lately teaching two Labs to walk in the same direction at the same time on their leads.

    Here's a hint of what you have waiting for you: our HIGH for Friday is supposed to be a balmy 61, a large drop from our normal low to mid 70s with humidity in the 40% range and we're already dropping into the lower 50s-upper 40s at night!

  4. I love your china! I can see why you fell in love with that pattern.

  5. The china pattern is lovely and what memories you have as well. Thanks for sharing.

  6. That china pattern is so beautiful -- as is the silver.

    When we moved (At least the last 2 times) we paid to have our stuff packed. What a blessing that was! They packed up my china and then insisted on my sitting there while they unpacked it at our new homes.


Please take time to leave a comment! I love knowing that people are reading!