These dishes were my grandmothers. She called them her “evaday” dishes, not everyday, but “evaday”.
When my grandmother passed away my mother took them.
They have been in my parents kitchen since the day my mom took them home.
Last Friday my niece called to tell me she was redoing her kitchen, she said, “do you want these,” before the final word was out of her mouth I said YES!
It’s not that I need the dishes, I have my own. I have my own “evaday” dishes, two sets in fact, I have my grandmother’s china, I have Christmas dishes, I have more dishes than any one person needs.
I didn’t need the dishes, I needed THOSE dishes.
You see, those dishes represent much more to me than a plate to put food on. Those dishes represent memories of the two women I loved most in this world, my mother and my grandmother.
The set isn’t perfect, there are some chips and there are six sets of some, four of others and seven or eight of others, but to me, this is a perfect set.
I remember sitting with my grandmother at her kitchen table, mornings when it was just the two of us. She would drink her coffee and in a matching cup cover the bottom with a few drops of that decaf and fill the rest with Pet milk for me. Over our morning coffee we would talk.
These same plates served our family countless Sunday dinner’s as we crowded around my grandmother’s dining room table.
Fried chicken, chicken casserole, ham, turkey, fresh vegetables from my grandfather’s garden and dessert, my grandmother always made dessert! But it wasn’t so much about the food, it was more about the family time we shared there.
When my mother took the plates I had already left home, but for years mama would set the table with these plates.
Over the years we have eaten everything on these plates, but the plates really don’t matter, it is about the memories that were created at the tables where they were used.
Memories of family times, times that included laughter, tears, arguments, debates, deep conversation and lots of love. Like the simple design featured on the plates, we bloomed at those tables where we came together to eat, we grew strong and in our own ways beautiful.
I’ve now washed the plates and will put them in a cabinet in my kitchen. I don’t plan on using them, it is just comforting to know they are here.
I have a feeling on one of those days when I am desperately missing my mom or craving one of those conversations with my grandmother I will pull one out.
I’ll place my meal on the plate and I will remember and I’ll feel closer to the two women who helped to shape my life and made me appreciate the simplicity of a plate and the incredible gift of the memories they represent.