Jun 3, 2019


I enjoyed reading about your sentiments on family china and traditions.  When I moved Mom in 18 years ago, I had a large set of Pfaltzgraff Folk Art.  The weight of the dishes was more than she was used to and not comfortable for her.  No where to sell the Pfalzgraff and too heavy for mailing, I donated to the domestic abuse shelter for families starting over.  Perfect option for no longer used crock pots, pans, kitchen items and dinnerware.
My sister once scolded me for donating items that belonged to our parents.  Just because Mom had it, didn't mean she loved it and would not have discarded if she could afford to replace.  When she got to choose what to bring here, I was very surprised that she didn't care about most of her items and wanted new!  What about my grandparents, who came here from critically poor villages?  They were so glad to have anything and would never consider replacing items unless they were no longer usable.  But if a friend or neighbor was in need, they would offer what they could, even if it meant they went without for a while because they all knew what it was like in "the old country".  When my grandfather got off the plane from a trip back to his village after Baba passed away, he dropped to the asphalt and cried.  My mom and aunt ran toward him thinking he was ill.  He was sobbing and kissing the ground.  No luggage, no shirt, no shoes, no watch, no wallet, he left behind everything he could for the people in his village.  An undershirt with holes and pants with tears and no belt were worn on the plane.
So I need to make a decision whether I want to emotionally hold on to dishes, or offer them to someone who would use and appreciate them.  It's a hard one because they were a gift from my parents.  I need to look in the attic and check if those dishes are usable.
I like the old dishes pictured here, I only have one or two pieces.  But maybe I will be surprised when I open the attic's box!  I think it's time to have dinnerware that I enjoy seeing and caring for.  I think Mom and Dad would want that too.


C M Designs said...

I love the dishes that you shared, especially the square one. I don't have any of my Mom's dishes.
I have found some interesting and beautiful ones at Goodwill. Have picked up a few.
Baskets also. Don't know why folks care to donate such things.
Have a beautiful week.
Charlotte in Va.

rosek1870 said...

You go girl. I use what used to be my mom's wedding China for everyday. I still have a set of bone china she got as an Anniversary present and my wedding China that me parents got us. One of my daughters wants a set just needs to pick. The other set will probably be donated. Cant wait to see what you pick!

Vickie said...

😍Oh Marly! You are killing me! The first pattern is pretty! The second one!!! AAAAAAHHHHHH! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!💗💗 My stepfather THREW OUT YES THREW OUT MY GRANDMOTHER'S CHINA THAT WAS SAVED FOR ME!! It was a PINK rose pattern!😭 I came back for it after college and almost died.

Krissy B. said...

Love the middle one. I may have some of this pattern. I use all sorts of transfer ware dishes with the patterns mixed up. I love to set the table but they need to be washed by hand. I have arthritis pretty bad so I don't mind washing by hand. The warm soak feels good and it works the fingers and hands to keep them from stiffening up. They are not heavy dishes either. Life is short. Live with what you love. Hugs!

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Hi Marly,
Your story about your grandfather was so very touching!! Thank you for sharing it!!
I love all the beautiful dishes, but perhaps even more, I love the sentiment behind each one! Since I don't have anything from either side of my family, I think I would hang on to those things that were special to them just to feel connected! Perhaps that is why I am attracted to older things since I don't have any from any of my family! It helps me to feel connected to the past!
Hope you find some wonderful treasures in the attic!
Have a great week!
Heart Hugs~
Julie xo

diamondc said...

Oh Marly: They are all beautiful, I still use my china, dish's I collected from second hand stores, Mike thinks its very special.
I understand about coming to this beautiful Country of ours, my maternal Grandfather and his family came here when my Grandfather was very small from Switzerland, my Great Grandfather did the same knelt and kissed the ground, so touching when I think about it, it gives me goose bumps, I am sure at the times the people were very generous knowing what they all were going through.
Nowadays the only place I find generous people are here in Blogland and at Church, its amazing how hard some people have become with the times.
Well my Dear Friend, I am looking forward to seeing what other treasures you find in the attic, keep us posted.
I like the colors that you show on the cabinet, very vintage looking.


debbie haggard said...

hey Marly- keep and use what you actually love- not that which you think you *should* love. you will be much happier that way. You just reminded me that I too have a large, complete set of Pfalzgraff Folk Art boxed up in my attic. And why am I keeping it??? Who knows........

Maureen said...

My fingers will be crossed for you when you go "shopping" in the attic. With the floral theme common to all the plates you showed us I'd use them together as a set

Anonymous said...

You are such a wonderful storyteller, thanks for telling us about your grandfather. Seems people might have been more appreciative of things years back, maybe because they had so much less than we do now? For what it`s worth I dearly love the square middle plate, so dainty and lovely, my grandmother would have loved it too. I was given a few of my grandmothers and great grandmothers belongings, whenever I see them or use them it brings a smile to my face because I think of them.

TheCrankyCrow said...

Oí.... I’d so be mixing and matching those wonderful old florals. I know I am typically more “primitive” in style, but there is something so charming about these old patterns...and the first two blend so very well. I do believe my mom had one plate like the first one in your post (one, and yes, only one) - I believe she received it from my father’s aunt shortly before the aunt’s passing.... Hard to tell though as it was so crazed and cracked it was no longer its original color. ~Robin~

Amanda said...

Dishes in the attic don't do anybody any good. Have them out where you can enjoy them, or send them out into the world where somebody else can. I'm a firm believer that the things in your house have to pass one of 2 tests - they need to be useful, or they need to make you smile. If they don't do either, they need to go away.

Pamela D. Atkinson said...

It is so funny that you are bloggin' about dishes! HA! I just decided the other day, to only keep the Blue Carnation dishes, that were my grandmother's, on the display shelf. All the other unused dishes, I will either try to have a yard sale or donate. I ordered from Pier 1 some new plain (stone) dishes. Time to 'out with the old- In with the new'. I can't wait for the order to get here. Before I put up my new dishes, I will clean out any other unused items; and clean the cabinets! I get so excited when I read your blogs; and you and I are right on track! hugs, queeny

moosecraft said...

Maybe just keep a few pieces and donate the remaining to someone that can use them. That way you can keep some of the memories, while also helping others. Your Grandfather left everything behind...that is proof that he would agree holding on to something (just to have it) and not using it (because it's in the attic) is not sensible.
Yes. We are a society filled of excess with so many stores and these stores are filled with affordable goodsbeing made overseas...add to that clever marketing....and we are always being told to question if "what we already have is good enough"....

Truus said...

Beautiful pieces of tableware are these.
The piece on the second photo my sister who paste away 21 years ago had a whole set of plates and cups of this design.
In my cupbord I have a breakfast set of green glass of my parents did got for their wedding in 1937.
Greetings Truus from Holland

Mombannister said...

It is difficult to donate things that belonged to your parents, or were in your family. But the 'things' are not the people or the memories, just symbols. Donate freely that which you can't keep.

JustGail said...

I like the 2nd and 3rd dishes. Like CrankyCrow said - mix & match and use them!

I have 2 fancy teacups and saucers from my Dad's family. If I saw them in an antique shop, I think "pretty!". And then leave them. It's his story of being used only on someone's birthday, only by the birthday person, that I kept them. He grew up in a family that was doing good to have dishes, let alone another whole set of special occasion china, glassware, silver. Will they stay in the family past me? I highly doubt it. Does it bother me? A tiny bit, but mostly not. DS has no interest in such and who knows what any future DIL might think. I don't want DS to think he needs to keep them because of "some story about Grandpa".

As far as Carole saying you can't get rid of things, I don't see how she can expect you to be the storage locker for it. I've seen the declutter advice that if those saying "you can't get rid of..." don't take the items or won't pay to store it themselves, they have no say in the matter. I'd add that they really don't care about the items, it's about they want their way more than the stuff.

What if you offered them for sale here, like you've done with needlework items? I can totally understand if you don't want to deal with packing and mailing heavier or fragile items though!

Mary in AR said...

Lovely to see the pretty china patterns. My grandmother had several serving pieces in the same pattern as the last photo (the orange flower) and I loved them as a child, as well as now. I believe I still have a few pieces of it. Being middle aged without children, so only me and DH, we tend to serve dinner out of the pots on the stove and eat in front of the TV. I know, terrible habits! I just keep thinking once I retire, I'll be able to use all the pretty things I have squirreled away. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Marly, I loved seeing that first plate in your post. I think I have a set of those same dishes in my attic - they were my mother-in-law's and I saved them for my daughter.
Another reason for me to get in the attic and start sorting things ... she's been married over five years and they could be put to use in her kitchen - or attic.
My mother and dad married in 1948 and she did not start her china collection until the 1960's. My dad bought it for her piece by piece for holidays and anniversaries and she treasured it. We did not have a dishwasher (no one did!) when I was a kid - and I remember how she hovered over the sink when we had company for dinner and they wanted to help wash dishes. Unfortunately, I hate the pattern and so it is packed away in my attic and I DON't WANT to use it. The only thing I cherish about it is that it was hers - collected over so many years. (And she had ALL the serving pieces!)
I love reading your blog because you deal with issues that are so relevant to me. I have a cupboard full of dishes I've been using for years. I'm tired of them and have been seriously thinking about chucking them all and getting Fiestaware. But, I see what I have is still full of use and I feel guilty about getting rid of it.
I loved the story of your grandfather kissing the ground in his bare feet.
So glad you are feeling well enough to write again - Leslie from Texas

Carol said...

I used to have the Pfaltzgraff Yorktowne pattern (it was my everyday dinnerware as opposed to my Noritake "good" china that I had on my wedding registry in the late '70s. It WAS heavy! And I ended up parting with it and gave it to my son and his girlfriend. It's so strange to go to their apartment as I feel like I've stepped into a time warp--our old china, our old kitchen table, endtables, glasses, rugs, etc. Very weird! But, I'm so glad to be rid of it. Now I just buy inexpensive blue and white china at Homegoods, etc. to mix and match. I really do need to think about getting rid of my Noritake--never use it and the petite blue and pink flowers do nothing for me anymore!! :)

Loved reading about your grandpa, Marly--bless his soul!

Rugs and Pugs said...

Ah the dish dilemma. When I got married in 1976, I didn't want China. Then a number of years later, I decided I did. My dear mom got me a beautiful set of Lenox that I picked out. I love it still, but it hasn't seen the light of day in 15-20 years. I bet I have at least 4-5 other sets tucked away that I haven't seen in years. Why? Really makes no sense but I find it hard to part with anything.

Dede said...

Bless your grandfather--I am sure he is in heaven now. What a thing to do for your people. We (Americans) don't appreciate what we have until we see what others have not. Thank you for sharing that story.
I look around at the "Stuff" we have collected. Family items that I have never used. Just kept. I don't think it will hold any value to our sons and their wives. I will offer to them and the grand kids before I dispose of any. We have a beautiful old lamp that was converted and hung in the in-laws dinning room for years. It was given to us when they moved. Still haven't hung it as no where for it! Hope IF we ever build it will be hung. My folks didn't have much and it was divided between me and my 5 siblings. I treasure those items. But like I said my kids don't really have a history with it. As for my wedding china I use to serve birthday dinners for the boys when they were young. Now it is disposable as I don't want to spend the time in the kitchen doing dishes! Family time is more important than a fancy table setting.

Eleanor Kay Hunzinger said...

I love the rose China on the left above. Are you getting rid of that. I had a cup and saucer, sugar bowl in that pattern and loved it but one piece got broken.

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