What Do These Three Things Have In Common?

China

Recently, I decided it was time to clean the silver again.  As I was rubbing the tarnish off of a silver water pitcher, I was reminded of a story I once heard about a grandmother serving her grandchildren lemonade from a silver pitcher.  I remember thinking (at the time) “What was this woman thinking?!  The lemonade would surely pit the silver and ruin the pitcher!  Oh my, what a waste!”.  But as I was cleaning my silver pitcher I got to thinking (yes, it does occasionally happen) about all the things I have that only see the light of day when I take them out to clean them.  I don’t actually use any of these “things” because, well, they might get broken.  My china is a retired pattern, my Waterford crystal is expensive to replace, and silver is just impractical.  But when I was a young bride (many moons ago) that was the thing to do – register for china, silver and crystal, no matter how impractical it was.  I don’t know what we were thinking, maybe that the President was going to dine with us on a regular basis or that any “proper home” was equipped with those items.  As I said, I don’t know.  It was the thing to do back then.  But now I am stuck cleaning china, silver, and crystal that is never used.

Maybe this grandmother had it right.  Maybe she was tired of cleaning china, silver, and crystal that was never used.  I know this, there is a memory belonging to someone of his grandmother serving lemonade from a silver pitcher.  That memory wouldn’t be there if not that grandmother with the lemonade in the silver pitcher.  So why not get the china out and serve cheeseburgers on it for Wednesday night dinner?  Why not serve chocolate milk from a Waterford goblet?  If it gets broken, it can be replaced.   Maybe even lemonade from a silver pitcher.  There will be memories of those things happening.  But I don’t think anyone will remember the Waterford in the china cabinet.  If we don’t use the china, silver, and crystal, then they are just become more stuff and don’t we all have enough “stuff” to dust and clean as it is?

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