Saturday is my cleaning day. I have a lot of glassware to dust. I inherited my love of glassware from both of my grandmothers. The town they lived in had two glass factories.
In his younger days my maternal grandfather had worked at one of the factories and brought home pieces to my grandmother. She would take me through her house and tell me the story behind each piece. Where she got it and how it came to belong to her. My favorites were the ones that she said, "I began housekeeping with this." Her first set of salt shakers now belong to my oldest daughter Niki.
My paternal grandmother collected teacups, teapots and Dutch boys and girls. I have a Dutch collection in my kitchen dedicated to her. Its first pieces were a little Dutch boy and girl I painted for her when I was about 5 and living in Kansas City.
Dusting for me is a little walk down memory lane and a time to pray for people who have given me some of my beautiful pieces of glassware. Though I'm at an age where I feel like I need to trim down what I have instead of acquiring more there are some pieces that I will treasure till I die. Not because of their value, but the value of the person who gave it to me.
As I dusted this morning I was a little more nostalgic than usual. It's a rainy day, we've battled the flu, my Alicia is not well with her MS...it all makes you introspective.
I dusted the tea cart and there was my tea set for children. It will go to my oldest granddaughter Mariah some day. I hope she has as many pleasant hours having tea with children as I have had with this tea set. My husband picked it up at an auction for a little bit of nothing. But oh, have we got joy from it that has no price tag it's so valuable. We load the tiered plate rack with little sandwiches, cookies and fruits or cheese and make cambric tea for the children and let them feel like they are at the fanciest tea room in the country--Grandma Tami's!
Then came my tea cups from my Grandmother Nelle--my paternal grandmother. I thanked the Lord for her influence in my life as I dusted the delicate bone china cups.
She had a long shelf in her kitchen lined with beautiful teacups and teapots. She loved the ones in dark colors with gold on the inside or edges and she loved the footed cups. Her life was a hard one. My grandfather was a womanizer and moved to Florida with one of his women. In those days the person wronged had to sue for the divorce and my grandma never divorced him. She made the comment to me that just because he broke his vows didn't mean she had to break hers. She is a heroine in my life. Maybe the beautiful teacups and teapots gave her joy in the midst of a lonely, gray life.
When I got my first job I bought her a very expensive pink teapot with tiny roses on it. It was from Sadler, England. When she died my aunt remembered I had given it to her and brought it back to me. I always see my grandmother and her kitchen when I dust it.
Oh, and there's the cup and saucer that my mother gave me as my last birthday gift from her before she died. "Lord, please tell mother hello and that I miss her every day of my life."
Then there's the beautiful footed teapot with matching saucer that took so much of Asher's hard earned money to buy for me. "Lord, bless that boy with such a huge servant's heart. Take his gift of loving to give more than receive and use it for Yourself. "
And my teacup I bought in East Liverpool on our annual preaching week with our friends Chester and Barb. Barb and I loved to plunder in little shops and I want to always take home a memory of my time with them. East Liverpool is known for its fine clay and Fiestaware is made there. Also I believe the Hall pottery is made there. Imagine my delight when I found a beautiful deep blue teacup with the gold inside (my grandmother Nelle would have loved it) marked East Liverpool and at the grand price of $2.00! "Lord, bless our ministry friends as they walk the valleys and mountains for You."
There's the beautiful chintz teapot my daughter Niki gave me. The Victorian feel is there and I think of her, my writing daughter, curled up on a rainy day like today with pen in hand and the words just flowing. "Lord, thank you for a daughter that has given her talent to be used by You."
I lovingly dust a teacup and saucer with words etched on it. "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him." Ps. 37:7. This cup was given to me by my older sister when I walked the horrible dark valley of depression. Now I look at it and think of my rambunctious child, the one who loved the outdoors, riding her bike, go-carting, activity-- fighting her battle with MS. Perhaps this teacup should be passed on to my daughter... "Lord, help my beautiful daughter Alicia to trust You even when she can't see You in the thick darkness..."
My latest teapot is Dutch but too beautiful and delicate to go to the kitchen. She is the queen of the teacart! Her head is thrown up to the sun and her big basket of flowers makes me long for the spring to come so I can smell the honeysuckle again in Tennessee. She was purchased on my last trip to Idaho. It was love at first sight. When I told Gary about what a beautiful Limoge teapot I'd found in a gift shop he didn't ask the price or why I wanted another teapot. He simply said, "You get down there tomorrow and get her shipped here." Oh Lord, thank You for such a loving, thoughtful husband. Thank You that we're still sweethearts and best friends after 35 years of marriage. Thank You that Your word does pay us back when we obey it."
And then I think of my Idaho children, isolated from the rest of the family as they walk in obedience to the Lord's calling. Lord, comfort and encourage them. Give them fellowship and "family" from You out there."
I have my odd shaped teapots. The one that is a copy of transferware was given to me by John and Cierra (via daddy) so they could have a part in mommy's tea room. "Lord, bless these late blessings you've brought into your lives and use them in a mighty way."
My last teacup I'll mention is a broken one. I've mended it more than once. Years ago we went into an old barn just filled with junk. The older four were little then and the boys went off with their daddy and the girls and I went our way. When we got in the van Nate handed me the most beautiful little teacup. It was missing its saucer, but it was so beautiful because it had a large rose on the front and the handle looked like the stem. He had 50 cents when we went in the barn and he had spent it all to get me a cup with my favorite flower on it. I remember being brought to tears by his being willing to spend everything he had to bring joy to his mother.
It's that delicate handle that got broken over the years but I just keep gluing it and the teacup has center stage in the china cupboard. Sometimes the lives of those that are most precious to us become broken. "Lord, only you can mend the broken lives and hearts and I'm counting on You to do that."
How thankful I am for the people that each teacup or teapot represents. It is good to know that God has given us family and friends to share those things we treasure and find joy in. It is good to bring them before the Father and talk about them, pray for them and thank Him for them.
It all makes dusting a joy!