When Grandma got older, she started giving her life's "things" to her descendents. She wasn't going to need them much for much longer. A sophisticated lady, she had many lovely things to offer us grandchildren.
. . . I was one of her's and Granddaddy's favorites, so I was pretty lucky to get first dibs. So many choices. . . jewelry, figurines, paintings. Nope, silly me, I went for the soap saver (an old metal kitchen utensil, like a little cage that you put slivers of soap in. Not very valuable). Always wish I had gotten the dachsund paper holder (long silly looking ceramic dog with a springy thing in the middle). I did take a few Royal Doulton because it made her happy. And I begged for the dishes.Not the china --- the dishes. The Johnson Bros. Windsor Ware, Garden Bouquet pattern, service for a family gathering with chips in at least a third of them. Why did I want the dishes? Because I knew that every time I would use them I would remember my grandparents. Thanksgiving dinners of years past would flood my mind on days when the kids were acting way too much like kids, and all of a sudden things would seem better.
Nowadays, having Cream of Wheat in a Garden Bouquet bowl transports me back to a pea green Michigan dining room on a crisp and sunny fall morning, watching my granddaddy eat his bowl of Cream of Wheat with his large, loving, little-bit hairy hands. Those breakfasts were special to we two. . . oh how I loved him. I adore these old, chippy dishes for all the joyful memories they have given me. . . and how grateful I am that they now grace my own cupboards.