Our other dishes were old. Really old. I bought them right after college at a Dansk outlet in Kittery, Maine. I worked at the store that summer and spent weeks deciding which of the various patterns, colors and styles were to become mine. I remember how grown-up I felt when buying them (sure, they sat for months in their box at my parent’s house as I was still living at home, but …. whatever. I had dishware).
Those dishes were well traveled. They moved with me from New Hampshire; to Washington, D.C.; to Denver, Colorado; to Santa Fe, New Mexico; to Southern California; and finally to Montana. That’s a lot of miles. And meals. Old dishes mean something. They tell a story. Of me. Of us. Of our life. The places we lived, the people we fed.
As I pulled them out of the cupboard to make room for something new, I thought of all the homes I’ve lived in. The apartment in Virgina that sat so close to a highway, it sounded as though cars were driving through our living room. The condo in Colorado that would swelter to 100-plus degrees every day, every summer. The home in Ojai, California that boasted orange, lemon, and lime trees in the back and front yards. And here. In Montana. The home that welcomed my son from Ethiopia.
And, I remembered my dog, Junction. A big yellow lab who traveled and lived with us for nearly 15 years. He liked those dishes. Not that he got to eat off of them (yuck), but he certainly had his share of scraps scraped from them into his own dish. I think it’s fair to say my old dishes were packed with good memories. Unfortunately, they were also covered in scratches and chips.
I knew it was time to say good-bye when, just recently, I chose to serve dinner to my friend, Toni, on plastic, patio dishware rather than on their indoor counterparts.
So I said goodbye. And made room for something new. My new dishes came from Target and cost all of $40 for two sets. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy. Rather, I was looking for something upon which to build a new lifetime of memories. I think the new dishes are up for the challenge.