The second load of teapots and decanters are in a vinegar wash in the dishwasher; I ruthlessly poured out dregs of Kahlua, of tawny port, of sherry bought in 1995. They each got a glug of vinegar and a pouf of paper towel on a long chopstick to scrub all the murky bottom corners, then into the DW. The huge faceted punchbowl way up high has been Windexed and replaced, and the decanters will again stand beside it, perhaps tomorrow, when they are completely dry.
I’ve just polished the old china cabinet which holds the three sets of china which belonged to my Mother, as did the cabinet. There are two sets of white-bordered-in-silver and one of a decidedly Autumnal hue, with lots of dainty gold scrolling amongst the small pale orange and rust flowers. Each set has eight cups and saucers; I "borrowed" them over and over for parties we did, as they matched my own set. And over the years I’ve collected up perhaps four dozen more c/s pairs, in mis-matched sets---four of this, six of that, until one shelf inside is a-topple with zany towers of cups, like those lop-sidey modern wedding cakes which would have delighted Dear Dr. Seuss.
The shelves are near to collapse with all the bits and bobs, from our family or who-knows-whose family, all higgled in like puzzle pieces. Stacks of plates are topped with more towers of bowls with small white paper towel ears sticking out between, until it’s nearly impossible to un-Jenga the set to get at what you want.
And cream-and-sugars!!! With those and all the cups, we could serve tea to a regiment. I don’t know WHY I’ve indulged in so many, but they appealed to me at the time, I know, or reminded me of another time and place, or just caught my fancy with their own fanciful flowers and birds and curves. And they were almost all less than a dollar, at least the ones I actually bought.
Everything was a gift, a family pass-down, or bought at Goodwill and yard sales. I cannot indulge expensive whims---plus, that would take away from the pleasure of the find, of the having, the knowing that it WAS a bargain. And especially the knowing that these now-treasures, cluttery though they be, were bought and enjoyed, washed and polished and put away, by people I once knew and cared about, or by strangers with their own lives and stories to tell.