When the mister and I got married, we had a couple that I used to pet-sit for ask us why there were no dishes on any of our registries. The wife answered her own question by musing that we must have already had some special dishes. We did. And still do.
My Granny passed away in the summer of 2006 of emphysema. It was a slow and sad death to watch and is ultimately what finally led me to quit smoking. She was an unbelievable woman who spoke her mind, regardless of the consequences which I still admire her for.
After her death, bit by bit, my Papa would get rid of random things and eventually the entire family pulled together and completely overhauled his house while cleaning through loads and loads of memories.
During one of these cleaning sessions, the mister and I were offered some dishes by my Papa. But not just any dishes. These were the dishes my Granny and Papa were given when they were married in 1955. The entire set was accounted for, including coffee cups, saucers and tea pitcher.
These dishes were yucky dirty. And I mean yucky, yucky, yucky. After 50+ years of smoking in the home, many things were covered in a layer of nicotine, including these dishes. I figured I could attempt to clean them and if salvageable, we would keep and use them.
I cleaned these puppies until my hands couldn't take anymore. They looked brand new. I was elated. We've yet to lose any of them in the four years they've been in our possession (knock on wood!) and we eat 90% of our meals on them. We've even shared meals with my Papa using them. I think Granny would be proud. These dishes are hearty, beautiful and above all incredibly special to me.
And yes, for the record, we use cloth napkins for EVERY meal we eat.
Granny would be proud of that, too.