I lived in Owensboro, Kentucky for the 1999-2000 school year. My Grandma Carter was residing at that time in a nursing home in Jefferson City, and my father had just returned from his years as a missionary in Argentina.
When Grandma Carter moved into a nursing home, I took custody of her dinnerware.
I didn’t even unpack this china until I had Aunt Esther’s china cabinet, so in four years, I think I’ve used it once.
Two weeks ago I took custody of my mother’s dinnerware. We rarely used this, but I’m determined to put it on the table for certain occasions.
Mom’s collection includes service for nine: dinner plates, salad plates, dessert plates, coupe bowls, three serving dishes and a large serving plate, cream and sugar dishes, and cups & saucers. Also in the box were four painted china demitasse cups and saucers, and some random serving dishes. And six salt cellars.
Amongst the items I inherited from Aunt Esther is this antique china cabinet. This stood in the alcove in her dining room on Clinton Street in Columbia.
Filled with memorabilia from her life, it stayed with her at Foxwood Springs in Raymore, Missouri until her dying day. And then a month later it found a home in my own dining room.
This china cabinet now holds priceless memories: my mother’s collection of Fireking Jadeite china, Grandma Carter’s formal china, Grandma Blocher’s stemware, a few pieces of Great-Grandmother Blocher’s china, some of my mother’s crystal serving dishes, serving bowls from various relatives, and so on. Plus a lovely bone china set I purchased at an antique store in Indiana 15 years ago.
And sitting beside the china cabinet is my Grandma Carter’s violin.
1989. Argentina was in some political turmoil. I privately wrote my parents to ask that they be honest if they were in danger. But my public face is reassuring, to my sisters and especially to my paternal grandmother.
This scan is of a portion of my letter to her, attempting to put her concerns to rest and provide some context.