Today's guest is brand new to our blog so please give Carol James a huge WELCOME! as she shares something she treasures with us....
I gently placed the small yellow platter on the counter and smiled at the salesperson. “This was my mother’s dinnerware pattern. I have a blue bowl and a green bowl at home . . . all that’s left from her set. And this is the first time I’ve never seen any pieces in an antique store.”
“Don’t you want the pink one, too?” She winked.
I hadn’t seen it, but yes, I definitely wanted it. My best friend and I had walked into the little antique store in Clarksville, Georgia on a whim, just to pass the time. I had no idea the treasure awaiting me there.
I guess you could say my mother was a minimalist. When I was a child, I always wondered why our house lacked the delicate knick-knacks, lovely wall art, and the forests of plants my friends had. But as an adult, I understand.
My father was a career military officer. The longest we ever lived any one place while I was growing up was two years. An average timeframe was much less. More possessions meant more to pack when you moved and more to grieve over when things became broken or lost in transit. So early in her marriage, my mother made a decision. Her treasured possessions were her family.
My Mom loved cooking, so the one extravagance she allowed herself was setting a beautiful table. We always ate on her pastel dinnerware with sterling silver flatware and crystal glasses. Never plastic or stainless, and paper plates were for picnics only.
I can remember her teaching me how to use part of my index finger as a ruler to evenly align the bottom edge of the dinner plates and silverware with the edge of the table. Forks on the left, knives and spoons on the right, dessert cutlery across the top. The knife edges and napkin openings always faced inward toward the plate. When my job was done and the table was set, she’d go outside and take clippings of whatever plants were growing around our quarters and create a centerpiece a florist would be proud to claim.
When my father came home, our family would sit around the candlelit table. He’d say a blessing, and we’d eat and share our days. The meal would always end with a similar appropriate comment. Daddy would say, “Lillian, I believe that’s about the best pork chop I ever ate.”
The four pieces of my mother’s dinnerware are beautiful to me. Not for their monetary value, but for the memories they evoke and for the lesson they symbolize about priorities, about what is lasting. About what we should truly treasure.
What a Wonderful story, Carol and definitely something to treasure!
Carol James is an author of inspirational fiction. She lives in a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Jim, and a perky Jack Russell "Terrorist," Zoe.
Having always loved intriguing stories with happy endings, she was moved to begin writing to encourage others as she'd been encouraged by the works of other authors.
Her upcoming novel, The Waiting, will be available January, 2019.
Her Christmas novella, Mary’s Christmas Surprise, is currently available for pre-purchase on and on the website.
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