Grandma’s China, Home at Last

I have an announcement.

I’ve been out of college for more than five years.

We’ve been married for more than four.

And we finally, finally, no longer have boxes stored in our parents basements and/or attics.


A few weekends ago my mom came to visit and she brought the last of our unclaimed property. It was four boxes of extraordinarily well wrapped china.

[don’t be jealous now of my wood-paneled  basement]

My dad’s mom, Grandma Marge, died when I was a freshman in high school. I don’t remember if it was before or after she died that I was given one of her sets of china.

You see, the elder women in my family [probably just like every matriarch in every family] have ridiculous amounts of china. Multiple sets. My own mother has a minimum of 47 sets, or so it seems like. Most of them are passed down and each woman gets her own set or sets and the collection grows.

I did not register for fine china when I got married. Can you serve enchiladas or BBQ pork on hand wash only dishes? Negative. But I also knew that I had this set waiting for me, whenever I had the cupboard space to store it. Years passed by and I forgot I had the china.

When my mom brought the four [yes four, tons of wrapping paper] boxes of china I immediately put them in the basement. But then I realized, that is stupid. I have several empty shelves in my cabinets. And what is more perfectly suited to be on those top shelves than delicate china? Nothing.

So during a tornado warning last Sunday I lovingly unwrapped all my china and placed it in one of my top cabinet shelves. It fits perfect! I’m not sure how often I’ll use it but it is nice to know that should I ever feel like celebrating and hand washing every single dish, I can do so.

I really like the china. It’s feminine and pretty. Something really funny to me is the difference in size in plates now and 60 years ago. That’s my current dishware on the right. I can imagine how skinny I’d be…

I hope now that it’s accessible I use this china every now and then. It’s a not only beautiful to look at but it’s a beautiful reminder of my grandmother and the legacy of women I come from. I’m not sure if she would approve of eating leftover pizza on it, but I’m sure Jesus won’t tell her 😉


3 thoughts on “Grandma’s China, Home at Last

  1. Meg says:

    I have a set of china like this too, from a late great aunt. Haven’t used it, but it has all the accessories – even tiny little salt wells. I was recently reading this book ( and they had the idea of pairing old, beautiful but really fancy china with boldly colored plastic plates, tumblers etc. from the discount store (I guessed that to mean Wal-Mart) to make it look really modern in a china cabinet. Their china had pink in it, and they used bright, bright pink plastic dishes. Hard to explain, but it looked cool. I thought that was a great idea. Can’t seem to find a pic online, though.

  2. Dad says:

    I was very happy to see the pictures of the china. It brings back many good memories of childhood Thanksgivings and Christmas. And, of carefully hand washing huge piles of dishes in mild detergent and then carefully hand drying each piece– lest we wear the gold edging down! Grandma Green always loved that flower pattern. Now we only have our cupboards stuffed with my grandmother’s 90 year old china (Grandma Marge’s mother) from Germany, Grandma Marge’s wedding china, Grandma Kotarski’s set, and …..

    Next up should be the sterling silverware (which we never use). Its great fun to polish it before each use!

    And then there’s the ….

    I think I’ll pray that Andy catches a vision for a “creative use” of that large space next to your large clock!

    Enjoy your pizza.

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