I’m winning back a lost piece of my childhood as I acquire the vintage Homer Laughlin Coventry Castilian Dish set- piece by piece (people like to call it “dinnerware” these days, but I still prefer the term “dishes”).
Several years after my parents divorce, Dad and I moved to South Carolina. I was thirteen at the time. Growing up away from every female relative I ever knew was hard. I’m so thankful to have my own posse of four daughters now, and hopefully a daughter-in-law, in the future.
As a result of my isolation, every visit back home became almost mythical. I was trying to recapture the past, and make up for the time I lost. I often felt like Ebenezer Scrooge, on a trip with the Ghost of Christmas Past. Of course now I realize it was God’s providential plan for me to move to South Carolina. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
In South Carolina, I realized that Jesus died for me, and gave me eternal life. Although it was Him who sought me, as opposed to me seeking Him, that monumental decision to accept Him as my Savior changed the course of my life forever. Although I now possess true joy, I’m still human, and know the pain of loss. My mother was very close to her mother. We didn’t call her Grandmother or Memaw when we were growing up. She preferred to be called “Alma.” At least twice a week, we piled in the car and drove 20 minutes or so to Alma’s house in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Her house was a safe place of comfort, joy, and love. Sometimes I still dream about her house, probably because it is one of the few structures that remained stable throughout my life. I could always go back and find her (and her stuff), exactly the same as I left it.
My whole life I’ve seen the Coventry Castilian set on her built-in wooden kitchen shelves. I never knew the name of that dish set, or saw it in a thrift store, until this week. Who knew those dishes were Homer Laughlin- of the famed Fiesta Ware!
When I saw 11 cups and 12 saucers for $5.99, my heart literally skipped a beat. Then I won the bid for the sugar bowl, gravy bowl, and salt and pepper shaker set on EBay. Winning that bid made me feel as though I had won back something that Satan took from me.
Dad gave me his mother’s quilt and afgan. It is precious to me because he gave me the only things he had that belonged to her. I don’t want them for the monetary value. I love them because they remind me of how my Grandma Stella took me under her wing, at a very trying time in my life, and taught me to sew.
When his parents died, my Father-in-Law gave us a really nice German dresser that his mother owned. It is beautiful and I hope to keep it always. But what is most important, is that he thought of us. When it comes to inheriting, it isn’t the money or the things that truly matter, it’s that someone loves/loved me enough to think of me and my family.
I wasn’t privileged enough to inherit any keepsakes directly from either of my grandmother’s houses, but that’s okay, because I’m taking back my childhood, one thrift store and eBay purchase at a time!
I’m reminded of Joel 2:25-26
“Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame.”
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