This morning I looked around my home for something special to share on Calico Trails.
It didn't take long!
I immediately spotted a set of cabbage rose china. I don't really know how old it is, and it's probably not worth a lot in terms of dollars, but I treasure it because my grandmother gave it to me.
Back when I was a kid, the local grocery store had programs where they sold china and you could keep your receipts and for every dollar you spent, you could get a piece of china for just a few dollars.
Granny collected enough full sets of china in various patterns to give each of her granddaughters a set. Six in all. I ended up with the Empire Green Cabbage Rose set. It is complete, except for one tiny teacup.
Eventually, I'll find a teacup to fill that empty spot in the china cabinet. Green has never been my color, but that's okay. I adore this set of china because Granny bought it and saved each piece for that special day that she would hand it down to me.
My heroine in Stealing Jake had a hardscrabble childhood, living on the streets of Chicago as a pickpocket until she moved to Chestnut to start a new life. She had nothing, no treasures to hold close and bring back memories of her loved ones. Nothing but memories.
I'm also reminded of the great westward expansion when so many had to abandon treasured heirlooms on the side of the trail to lighten the load. My heart still breaks for them over 100 years later.
Oh, and just recently, my aunt called to let me know that she was giving me Granny's little corner hutch that she stored these dishes in until she passed them on to me. I still remember the day Granny asked my cousin and me to come to her house and pick out our china, and our excitement as we waited for our little Granny to open the hutch and bring out the china she'd saved for us.