Saturday, February 21, 2009

About Dishes

Some Saturday reflections:


1. Using vintage dishes makes washing dishes interesting. The pretty colors and shapes makes the chore, well, not a chore. Now new dishes aren't necessarily ugly, but you revisit family history and old kitchens and women who cooked everything from scratch while you're washing them? Not.

2. Using vintage dishes means some things will get broken. Note the lid on the cookie jar, broken 30 years ago and carefully re-glued. It reminds me of my little sons climbing up on the counter to get to the cookie jar. It was only a matter of time until the lid would get broken, of course. Sometimes the break can't be repaired and an item is gone for good. It's sad, but these things are intended for use in my house, and that's life. Not perfect.

3. Using vintage dishes means more hand washing since some finishes and materials weren't made to survive the harsh treatment and chemicals of the electric dishwasher (a lot weren't made to survive my husband's dish washing either, but that's another story). Since the dishwasher died in November from a water hemorrhage we've been hand-washing all the dishes again anyway.

What we've found is that it takes very little time (there's usually only the two of us here) and the dishes get cleaner. We don't let them pile up as much; with the dishwasher we'd want to make it "worth it" to run a load.

15 comments:

City Mouse said...

Exactly my thoughts on old awesome stuff - Friends are frequently surprised that we actually use our old dishes and teapots and rug beaters and such. I feel like they need to be alive and useful! Wanted to say again how much I loved looking at those old pics.

ELLOUISESTORY said...

I love it. I love it. I am going in today and bring out my old dishes and give us a second chance to have them in our lives - with their memories. Thanks, GS - always prompting us for a richer experience of life.

Susan said...

I have plates almost exactly like the flowered one in your sink! LOL My 'collection' is the same, a mix-and-match celebration of vintage florals that nobody else can duplicate, most of them picked up for fifty cents at a flea market. If one breaks, it's no big expense and it doesn't ruin a set!

Best of all is that each one carries a memory of a Sunday market, or else the relative who gave it to us, and that's the best part.

Mary Garrett said...

What a nice reminder to use what we have! I use mix-and-match things, too, but I do find myself using hand-wash-only things a bit less now that I have a working dishwasher again. I replaced mine in the condo when mom was sick and I was at the hospital so much that I needed to eliminate some chore somewhere (and "hot flashes" made dishwashing an ideal choice). Of course, it's just as well that I did it for myself, since I'd have had to do it to sell anyway (which I hope happens soon . . anyone need a condo in St. Peters? I've been told the market is "opening up."
Meanwhile, why save the good stuff for "later," when NOW is so much nicer (and I have a plate similar to that one, too!)

Cathy said...

I think that is a good looking sink of dishes. I love eating on dishes that have some history to me.

Granny Sue said...

I think, my friends, that we have much in common. MY mother saved the "good" things in her china cabinet, which was a child's delight of sparkling cut glass and color. Now I find myself wishing she'd used her pretty things every day instead of the Corelle ware. Then I have to remember--to Mom, the dishwasher was a luxury, a thing she desired for years when it was too expensive. And Corelle ware was fairly pretty and could go in that dishwasher. Different generations have different values. Hers was the dishwasher, mine is the beautiful dishes she left behind, or the ones I've discovered along the way.

I am glad that many of us are using and appreciating the old things, using them as a vehicle back to loved ones and happy memories. That, I believe, is what belongings are for.

Lucky13 said...

Sis, you inspired me to use my old dishes as well. What was I saving them for? Would EJ remember them sitting in the china cabinet or the meals we enjoyed when he comes to visit? And you're right, if they break it is sad, but I'm finding this isn't as bad as I once thought. It's a thing, but the memory attached to it doesn't go anywhere. And do you want to know something truly bizarre? I actually enjoy washing the dishes now!! Yeah, ME...who knew I just needed something pretty to wash to thoroughly enjoy that time at the sink?
Julie

Granny Sue said...

That is so cool, Julie. Washing dishes when you've got a houseful is a chore, but washing them for just a couple people is almost relaxing, time to think and slow down a little. Funny how our perspective changes over time.

Can't wait to see you! Derek will be off that weekend, and he's excited you're coming too.

Anonymous said...

Ooooo... That cookie jar sure brings back memories. Heck I might have a passing recollection of why that lid needed glued. Maybe...

Aaron

Anonymous said...

Ooooo... That cookie jar sure brings back memories. Heck I might have a passing recollection of why that lid needed glued. Maybe...

Aaron

Mary Garrett said...

A friend of mine told me, in his final months of battling cancer, that he missed doing dishes. He'd always enjoyed it, those colorful bubbles, the sense of completion of the day, but he didn't realize how much until he couldn't do it anymore.
On breaking -- there is a Japanese (?) notion that the breaking and repairing makes the item more special, because there is the history of the moment of breaking. I have a glass angel that broke in transit; I told the friend who brought it that it was a reminder of the idea that we are all angels with one wing, who need each other in order to fly. I broke the handle of my favorite teapot, and bought another at a flea market that same day. I think I'll glue the broken one, and use it as a planter for violets. (I wouldn't trust a mended handle with a pot of hot tea).

Granny Sue said...

Yes, Aaron I think you might have been involved in that crime. One of my favorite pictures is of you and Derek, completely grubby from playing outside, up on the counter with the funniest looks on your faces. Derek said the looks were because you were getting ready to raid that red cookie jar.

Mary, that is a poignant thought. It is the little things people miss as they age, isn't it?

I wouldn't trust a glued teapot handle either, but it will make a very pretty planter and continue its useful life. What a good idea.

Anonymous said...

For Christmas I asked for (and received) a set of bone china...not to use for special occasions but for everyday use. I am so tired of using ugly dishes. I have to hand wash as well since my dishwasher broke in December...and I don't think these will go in a dishwasher. I remember lots of handwashing growing up, not always fun, but they were times for stories passed on, conversation between sisters & brothers, laughter. Even now, with just Jay and myself it is a time to finish our day's litany of events.
tm

Granny Sue said...

What a nice present, Theresa! I'm with you on ugly dishes. With so many pretty ones around, why use something we don't like? I enjoy mixing and matching too.

yeah, I can remember some real fights that happened when we washed dishes--and also some happy laughter, real conversations, time for sharing. These are happy memories.

I think it's funny that your dishwasher broke too--mine died just before Thanksgiving. At first I thought i just had to replace it. Now that we've been without it for a while, I want to turn that space back into cabinet space for my big canning pots.

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...