Friday, October 17, 2008

Rummage Sale = Happy Ending


Years ago I bought a set of dishes at my great-grandmother's "going to the nursing home ne'er to return rummage sale." I'd eaten many a holiday dinner off these dishes and it gave me no small pride at 20 to such a complete set. It also pleased me to keep the dishes in the family.

Curiously, in the middle of the serving pieces, I discovered 3 of this serving bowl--it's pattern was NOT like the others and I had no way of knowing why.

There are no markings on the bottom of these dishes, so it's possible they're from a set earned through saving grocery store coupons. Remember those? Still, the bowls are a great size and get used pretty often.

Fifteen years passed and one random afternoon I stumbled up on a nearly complete set of dishes in the same pattern at a rummage sale. I had 3 little boys and we were late for the library's summer reading program and besides--I had no money on me. But the fact that other dishes that possibly matched my 3 odd bowls haunted me for years.

This summer the same house had another rummage sale. What would be the odds? I gathered purse and children and walked across the street just to see.

The set was $5.00. Even if they didn't match the pattern on my 3 serving bowls, Team Testosterone and I have broken enough pieces of our everyday dishes to make this a reasonable replacement. I paid, packed them in the Momvan and headed home.


They matched! My 3 serving bowls have a whole family now! Plates, sugar bowl, salad plates, dishes, teacups, saucers, platter!

I use one teacup sans saucer for my morning coffee. Mr. D thinks I use it to be all "high class and snobby with my finger pointing out." That's not true. I drink out of it because it pleases me to use something that is over 70 years old. It feels right and serendipitous that my odd bowls have other matching dishes keeping them company in my cupboard. I might yet discover the story behind this pattern--where and how my great-grandma may have bought them.

19 comments:

  1. I have an entire set of dishes that my mother has started stock-piling when I was supposed to marry someone else. We use it everyday and call it the wedding china. Perhaps your Grandmother had an "almost" set of wedding china?

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  2. I wonder if you could send pictures to one of Replacements.com or some similar site to find out where the dishes were manufactured and marketed? Even if they are "green stamp" dishes, it could be an interesting tidbit.
    Mmmm. Green stamps. My own grandma used to let me paste the stamps into the books and would give me a portion of them for my own spending when we went to cash them in at the store. I can still recall the particular smell and taste of the gummy adhesive used on those!

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  3. Lovely.

    I bought my dishes (basic white pottery) when I was a senior in college. I salivated over them in the catalog for months before forking over my long-saved money.

    Fast forward 17 years: We're still using the same white pottery and still appreciate the beauty in its simplicity. My hope is that in another 40 or 50 years, my girls (or their children) might appreciate the dishes and want them after I move into a nursing home.

    My mother, on the other hand, changes her dishes every 5-10 years, so there's no continuity or tradition behind them.

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  4. It makes me SO HAPPY to use old things. I'm not sure what it is--saving them from the landfill? Yes. But it's more than that. Maybe I still have that silly feeling from childhood that things have meaning in themselves, and using them honors that meaning. Or maybe I need therapy. No wonder my attic is stuffed full!
    What a happy ending!

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  5. A find like that is so satisfying. Those are so pretty!

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  6. Great story! I collected pieces of a particular set of dishes from thrift and antique stores for years. I always got a thrill when I would spot a new piece. And every fall when I get them out (What? Doesn't everyone has different dishes depending on the season?)I get the thrill all over again.

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  7. What an awesome story.

    Award at my place... ;-)

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  8. what a wonderful story. how wonderful that you found these dishes after all these years.

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  9. They are so pretty! I've missed out on some thrifty pieces lately, so it makes me happy to know that you've had some success, no matter that it was so many years later.

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  10. Awesome! We have the same Pfaltzgraf set we got when we got married. We've expanded it through (yes) rummage sales and the outlet mall, too. But this pretty set of yours? That's special. What a story.

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  11. I can totally relate: sometimes I search the cupboard for just the right mug of the day that fits my mood. I LOVE that you persevered and have the entire set now!

    ENJOY DISNEY GREEN GIRL and FAMILY!!

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  12. Like Jenn, I love a happy ending.

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  13. They were waiting to be reunited with the bowls, lovely!

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  14. I like the way you feel about vintage... and hey, you can't lose at that price! Five dollars! Wow.

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  15. That is awesome.

    I have my grandmother's silver, but we've never busted it out. I'd rather have something we could use everyday.

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  16. Some things are just meant to be. It is like finding treasure.
    I wonder, would you appreciate it as much if you began with the complete set?

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  17. Pretty dishes. I bought my grandmother's set of silver from her years ago. I'm so glad she didn't sell them to anyone else.

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Spill it, reader.