The Impermanence of Things

When we were preparing for our wedding, around 21 [now over 28] years ago, I made sure to register for a 12-piece place setting of everyday dishes and flatware, because I planned on having lots of kids.  We requested Pfaltzgraff stoneware, which seemed like it would last forever.  But our kids and the brick kitchen floors in our Victorian house took their toll.  Today I have ONE dinner plate remaining, two saucers, and two coffee cups.  I wouldn’t even have those coffee cups if I had actually used them but they spent most of the past eight years hanging from a cup rack.  The bowls and the sandwich plates are long gone. [Post-fire, of course, I had none–but this summer John’s aunt gave me a box of the stuff!  Someone she knew was getting rid of it and she remembered it had been our pattern,]
As for the silverware, we have one fork left–which Lorelei and William call “the wedding fork” and fight over at dinner time. [We still have that fork, rescued from the remains of the dishwasher by Jake after the fire because he knew I would want it.] There is one knife, one serving spoon, and a couple of iced tea spoons.  I had hoped the butter knife or the gravy ladle or the sugar spoon, at least, might have turned up as we were moving, but no.  I found a couple of steak knives out in the yard–we now have almost enough so that we don’t have to share–but none of the flatware.
We don’t eat off the table with our fingers, of course–we have replenished our stock many times over the years.  My grandmother gave us an old set of pretty flowered plates and bowls she got at some kind of dish of the week sale at Kroger.  I’ve got one plate left, plus a platter.  Once my neighbor sold a full set of plates at a garage sale.  I’ve still got two of those.  When we moved into our last house, my mother gave me eight blue plates for a housewarming gift.  Two remain.  I’ve inherited an entire set of everyday flatware from my grandmother, been given a set by a friend, and purchased another, but we still don’t have a whole matching set!  We’ve also been through four or five sets of glasses and have become resigned to drinking from the ubiquitous coffee mugs until the children leave the house.
All of the above accounts for why I am so excited to currently have a full set of white dinner plates with platinum trim given me by a friend from church for dinners indoors, and a full set of Corelle plates, white with blue trim, to use on the patio (those came from the St. Joseph Fall Festival two years ago and amazingly I still have seven–I count a full set as enough for the whole family.).  And I scored big at Kroger the other day, purchasing eight blue scalloped luncheon plates and eight blue cereal bowls–leftovers from Easter–for 66 cents apiece!  Add the blue plastic tumblers I bought to go with them and I am happy. [I still have one of those scalloped plates because it was in the car from someone’s on-the-way-to-school breakfast and escaped the fire.  And of course I now have totally different sets of dishes and flatware that were given us, plus a new assortment of coffee cups to drink out of.  Not to mention a whole different attitude about any of it being broken.]
Have your dishes endured over the years, or am I the only one with this problem?

0 thoughts on “The Impermanence of Things

  1. Julie

    “the wedding fork” – Love it. Our dinnerware has survived but only because the kids ate of Thomas and Princess plates for years. Now that we all use the “everyday dishes” we’re losing more and more. Who wants to keep dishes forever though, huh?

    1. That reminds me . . . all the kid plates are long gone as well! At least all of our good crystal and china are still intact. To be honest, I don’t particularly like those Pfaltzgraf dishes anymore anyway! I do miss my flatware, though.

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  4. I love this! As sad as it is to have things break and lost, there is something beautiful about it all, because that means there is LIFE using these things.
    Also, the wedding fork is hilarious.

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