Save The Dishes

One of my favorite things about thrift shopping is knowing that I am participating in a sort of rescue mission. Now I know that there are a great many things in the world that are more deserving of a rescue mission than dishes, starting with shelter animals.  But indulge me for a moment as I ramble about this small matter that seems to have a piece of my heart… Chatting with one of the sales clerks at my local Savers I learned that the clothes, linens and other soft products such as cushions and plush animals, that do not sell are bailed and sent overseas to be recycled. I was glad to hear that these items that could not be reused were then recycled. But the dishes, glassware and pottery that cycle out of these stores are simply THROWN AWAY. (gasp) Hearing this sent a wave of guilt over me for the items I had decided did not make the cut for Dirty Dishes inventory that day. But at least I was doing something by saving the pretty items in my cart. My sentiment for pretty things is conspicuously apparent to anyone that has visited my Honor-Ware page. When we love a beautiful cup and saucer or a set of glassware, we want someone to continue to keep those pieces on the pedestal we have built. Add a bit of nostalgia to the sentiment and a collection may be born. As I wrap up the holidays at the Radke house, I am wrapping up exactly that.

My mom set the table for me every morning with a bowl of something warm; oatmeal or Cream Of Wheat, which by the way, I still prefer to be lumpy to this day. My porridge de jour was served in a Johnson Brothers India pattern bowl.  I always hurried to eat the first layer down below the birds at the rim before they took too many bites. And at Christmas time, that bowl sat on a hand painted felt Santa placemat one of the ladies at church made for me. And my beverage was served in my Santa mug which despite being hand washed lost a little more color each year as the paint wore away. Shortly after I bought my first home, my mother and I were shopping in a thrift store in Durango, Colorado. And there it sat.  Someone’s Santa mug had found it’s way in to a thrift store! And to add insult to injury, it was only selling for ten cents! I cupped it in my hands and walked over to where my mom was shopping. “How could someone toss away their Santa mug?” Of course I rescued it and it sat next to my own the next Christmas.  And since then, I have continued to rescue abandoned and forgotten Santa mugs.  The only new mug I have in my collection is the mug that had flowers in it from my husband the first Christmas we were together.

He did not know about my collection when he bought it for me, a tidbit we consider yet another nod to kismet. Surprisingly, with all of the thrifting for Dirty Dishes this year, I did not add a single Santa mug to my collection.  But I most certainly contributed to the effort to save the dishes!