Thursday, December 3, 2009

LOST BLUE WILLOW

This is the little Blue Willow teaset which I got from Santa when I was six. I had many a lovely teaparty with the little dishes---Pot, C&S, Tray, four each cups, saucers, little plates.



And every single piece has survived, possibly due to the dishes' long incarceration in a little blue box, wrapped in bits of newspaper from the Sixties. And after I'd left for college, married, and had children of my own, I continued to ask if anyone had any clue what had happened to my dishes, but no one could remember.

Mother said that we'd probably given them to my younger cousin---who signs in as Anonymous, and then signs her sweet messages with "Maggie." So I gave up on ever finding my childhood treasure.

THEN---as I've related in another post back in the past year, I was cleaning out the huge cedar closet in their Master Bedroom, after Daddy had sold our family home. I reached up onto the big deep shelf amongst shoeboxes and albums and hats, felt the heft and weight of my own little stationery box with the hearts and birds on the lid, and there was my teaset. I sat down in the floor, amongst the dangling ties and pants legs, beneath that bright 100-watt bulb, and cried for the finding, for the loss, for the day, for all the feelings and emotions involved in such a momentous undertaking and change.

I gently unwrapped each small piece, thinking that perhaps time and handling might have done some damage, but not a single chip, not a single missing handle or spout.

They sit now on the ledge of the old linen-press from the room in my parents' house that we called "Mammaw's Room" for the Grandmother who lived with us for part of every year. And now that we're here, the furniture inhabits what we continue to call "Daddy's Room," long years after he's passed away.

And see the slightly-taller cup hovering there in the back, just above the knob of the teapot lid? That cup and saucer, child-sized instead of the doll-size originals, was a Christmas gift from Caro before the set was found---she presented it beautifully wrapped, with a little note saying, "You have to start somewhere."

Having never seen the originals, she had no idea what size they really were. And she intended to continue the collection from time to time---but then came the happy reunion with my own dear pieces.

So, they all sit there in the hazy sunlight through the white curtains, keeping company with the furniture from the house which was their home for so many years. And I've never washed the set from that day to this---I give it a nice wipedown with a Windexed paper towel now and then, but not inside. I cannot bear to erase the faint traces of the childhood dolltea still visible in those tiny cups.





36 comments:

Kouign Aman said...

Tea parties rule!
your lovely writing tapped into so MANY memories - of my desire for a china teaset as a child and its 'mis delivery', of restricting my own baby's use of her plastic pink one lest the chinese manufacture have included too much lead or other unpleasantry in it, and of a moon party not too long ago, using the 'Daddy and Me' tea cups she was gifted at birth, with the new ! Silver ! teapot, c&S and tray given at xmas age 5 by a very sweet friend. Merry happy days to you, of now and yore.

Will you use the teaset with the littleone you care for days?

racheld said...

Yes, of course!!! We're working on "gentle, gentle," with all the tempting shiny things hanging in reach on the two trees right now. And the table where she does her art and we eat most of our meals is a glass top over the cloth. Her proclivity right now is spoon-tapping and plate-clacking, so we won't get out the china until that little phase can be curbed or reasoned with.

"mis-delivery?" that sounds sad and ominous. Did it ever arrive?

And your dearie's SILVER service!! That's a lovely thing, for very special occasions and people. (Or a cloudy morning, just because it's Tuesday).

Minnesota Matron said...

And where are the Keen shoes beside the pretty plates :-). Just giving you a hard time!

racheld said...

AWWWW, MM!

Not I with the shoes, but we-know-who just loves that kind.

I'm an old Granny in pink clogs (sometimes with little footie-socks). Gosh, I hope Tonja doesn't see this!!

So glad you dropped in!!

Keetha said...

"You have to start somewhere."
Indeed.

I love a happy ending. Beautiful story, that I can certainly relate to. Thanks for sharing!

Southern Lady said...

What a sweet, sweet story, Rachel. I'm so glad you found your tea set.

I, too, have my little miniature tea set I used when I was a little girl. It is one of my "things I would save if there was a fire" treasures, and I hope to pass it down to Avery when the time comes that she will appreciate it for what it was ... and is ... to me.

Maureen said...

So sweet. You are very lucky to have such a childhood treasure,.

viridian said...

Oh I love your post. What a great story.
When I was little, I had a tin set - crude in retrospect. But, it was a Blue Willow type pattern. Your pictures brought the images back, just like that.

LV said...

What a great collection you have. The little tea set is so pretty. Thanks for sharing and the story behind it.

Kouign Aman said...

Oh yes, years of "one finger touching" reminders, both past and to come. Oh my.

Postcardy said...

I had a blue will tea set too. I let my sisters have it because I wanted to keep my mother's chidlhood tea set.

Keri said...

How sweet!!

My mother is going to flip when she sees your set. :)

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

How happy I am you found you tea set. I have 3 pieces from my tea set left, the other pieces lost over the years...

CC said...

Such a treasure you have..I'm so happy for you that it was found again. Happy VTT..have a lovely day. I'm participating even tho I'm unable to get signed in..

Roslyn said...

What a sentimental sweetheart you are & how wonderful that you found your teaset, thanks for showing it to us.

Jane said...

That was a wonderful post. I loved reading about your tea set and your reunion with it years later. Thanks for sharing!
Jane

Miri said...

Lovely tea set and story!

Robin Ennis Willson said...

Aww....what a sweet tea set and a beautiful story! So glad you found them again. It's great when you find something that speaks to your heart like that.

~~Carol~~ said...

What a wonderful story, and with a happy ending too! I'm so happy you found your sweet tea set, after all these years. And I can relate to that flood of emotion when you finally find a long lost treasure!
Happy VTT!
Carol

Lemondrop Marie said...

Sweet memories and vintage thingies! Happy VTT!
Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge
Charmed giveaway!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Such a sweet post! So happy that you found the lost treasure. What a wonderful way to rekindle old memories.

Jocelyn
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/
http://happycottagequilter.blogspot.com/

Allison of Dominant Hands said...

Thanks for sharing your tea set and story. You are so lucky to have found it.

concretenprimroses said...

Such a pretty tea set. Good story too. (I wonder where mine is...)
Kathy

Sandy said...

What a great story, and so well told.....I can just imagine that day in the closet....it brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad you found your teaset.....thanks for the memories!

Virginia said...

What a beautiful treasure and heirloom! Yay for finding it!

Virginia
Click here for my Vintage Thingie!

Elizabeth said...

How sweet, and what a great story! Hope you'll visit my VTT!

racheld said...

I'm so delighted that so many people have looked in today---I've been going to the other VTT sites, as well, and am having a bit of a problem commenting, unless the comment form is right in the center.

Something with my margins is all goofy today, and there's a two-inch-wide black space on either side of the screen which loses anything to the sides.

More when Chris gets home and has a look at it.

I'm so sorry to be missing out on the fun!!

Susan said...

That's the best story I've heard in awhile. I am a sucker for childhood treasures and I am so happy you found your wonderful tea set.

Debbie said...

Your tea set and the story that goes with it are beautiful. I especially like that someone cared enough about you to start your collection again when you thought is was lost forever!

Coloradolady said...

What a great story to go with your childhood tea set....the tea set is beautiful and it is so great it survived all these years in good shape. Happy VTT and have a great weekend.

My Grama's Soul said...

What a beautiful story, it brought tears to my eyes. It was beautifully written, thanks for sharing.


Cheers,

Jo

Tonja said...

What a treasure! And, isn't it true, that the feelings you have for the set include so much more than the set itself? I am so happy for you that you found it! And, I bet I know where it will go one day!

Cape Coop said...

YOU, your heart and your sharing of life with us, are such a treasure. Thank you.

racheld said...

OHHHHH, these busy days, these special times, this Blessed Season, these wonderful friends.

Thank you all.

rachel

Maggie McArthur said...

Oh, what a lovely story, what a lovely tea set. My childhood teaset is long gone, and nowhere near as pretty as yours.

It was grey enamel over metal, a little wheeled tea trolley such as an English Tea Lady would push about an office or hospital at teatime. The same grey metal mugs, teapot, cream and sugar. What I chiefly remember is how nasty everything tasted from those mugs, and how utilirarian the whole set was.

Now, of course, I'd love to find it, but I know it's long gone.

Duchess of Tea said...

You have a lovely blog, full of interesting posts and beautiful photos and a new follower...me.

Love & Hugs
Duchess