Fiesta Ware, most of which she inherited from my great-grandmother, Cartha.
Why is this remarkable?
Because this woman is selfless. And I was incredibly proud that she did something for herself, especially when I saw the smile it put on her face.
It reminds me to get excited about the little things in life. Sure, Mom would bust out the circus-colored dishes for special occasions, or sometimes just for a picnic in the yard. In our childhood, we had ice cream in the 50+ year old bowls. We'd scrape the plates clean after a meal she made. Thinking back on it, it was pretty special to have a mom who decided to just use the dishes. If they broke, chipped, or cracked, she'd say..."They're just dishes!" This kind of mentality has resonated with me.
More importantly, it has made me realize that using the special things I own makes me feel fantastic. Why shouldn't I use those things every day? So I do. I use the Lenox Chirp China we registered for our wedding for, and when my grandmother asks if I want more, I usually shriek "Yes!! I use it!"
I also wear my mom, aunt, and grandma's vintage clothing. And the designer stuff I own? I don't wait for a special occasion to bust it out. I wear it. All the time. I wear the fancy stuff in my closet until it's threadbare. I wear the onyx ring that is a family heirloom. Why wait for the right moment? What if it never comes and twenty years later, you're thinking, wow I should have used/worn/shown off that fill-in-the-blank. I simply don't feel like waiting.
Life is far too short to keep the China on the shelf. Wear your best clothes. Highlight your heirlooms. Wear grandma's pearls. And, like my momma, buy the damn furniture.