Saturday, February 28, 2015

Teatime Tale #9 - The Silverdale Dishes

The Silverdale Dishes
            Mornings start early up here in the north Georgia mountains. I usually get up when Lloyd does, around five or five thirty most days. I like to have my first cup of tea while it’s still dark outside and quiet inside.
            My husband is a hard worker and a good provider for our family. Things are rough for so many people these days, I can’t complain. We made it through 1934, and I just know the good Lord is going to see us through 1935, too.
            This morning, Lloyd and I are going into town to pick up our spring seed order at Wilson’s Feed and Seed. Sure hope we have a good crop this spring and summer. I plan to can even more than I did last year. With three big, strapping boys, I can hardly cook enough to keep them full these days. The two girls just pick at their food, but that’s a girl for you. The boys, though, I’ll swanee, I can hardly cook it fast enough for them.
            Yesterday at breakfast, I thought Zeb and Eddie and Richard were going to fight over that last biscuit. Those three worry me. They love to read about the war and all the things that happened in Europe not so long ago. Zeb says he’d love to go overseas and fight for this country. I’m just glad my boys are too young to be involved in anything like that. I hope there won’t ever be another war.
            While Lloyd and I are gone to town, Myrtle and Louise will give a good cleaning to the kitchen. The cabinets smell like bacon grease, and I don’t like that one bit. Besides, we ought to tidy up some since I’m about to bring some nice new dishes into this house.
            Lloyd and I have never been what you might call fancy people. We’re just plain folks. But I do like for things to look nice. I like for my pound cakes to turn out pretty, and I like my biscuits to be nice and uniform, cut out perfectly round with the biscuit cutter. Thanks to Lloyd—and the chickens, of course—my kitchen’s about to look even nicer, because I’m headed to pick up the prettiest set of blue dishes I’ve ever laid eyes on.
            Wilson’s Feed and Seed is next to Alley Brothers Dry Goods, and on trips to town I always go in Alley’s to pick up provisions. Sometimes it’s a bag of flour, sometimes it’s buttons, or maybe it’s some thread if I’ve been patching up the boys’ jeans. One day, I was in Alley’s when a salesman stopped by with these beautiful blue dishes. The pattern was called “Silverdale,” and it was made by a company called Swinnertons way over in London, England. “Silverdale” is such a pretty name.
            I told that salesman I had no need for pretty dishes like that here on the farm. Why, the boys would bang them up in no time, and there I’d be, with a bunch of chipped and cracked dishes on my hands. At least, that’s what I told Lloyd when we left the store that day.
            When we got home, Lloyd said, “Helen, you’ve been talking ’bout them dishes all morning. You liked ’em, didn’t ya?” I hadn’t even realized I’d been going on about them. Goodness knows I didn’t want Lloyd thinking I was hankering for a set of dishes, of all crazy things. Times are hard enough without us wasting hard-earned money on anything that isn’t a necessity.
            “No, Lloyd. They were pretty is all. But I have no need for such as that.” I remember that Lloyd just nodded. And that, I thought, was that.

            The next time Lloyd went into town, he came back with a sales ticket from Alley Brothers Dry Goods. “Here,” he said, handing me the ticket.
            “What’s this?”
            “I just paid down on those Silverdale dishes for you. I want you to take that egg money you always save for a rainy day and use it for those dishes. Our money situation’s improved some, and I don’t see why my wife can’t have a nice set of dishes.”
            I nearly fell over dead. I wanted to ask him who he was and what he’d done with Lloyd. Instead, I just said, “Why, thank you, Lloyd.”
            That was six months ago. Little by little, I’ve been watching that egg money grow. Neighbors who don’t have chickens have bought my eggs for years, and I’ve saved a tidy little sum thanks to those eggs. Now, every time those chickens lay an egg, I could just about kiss ’em, just thinking about how pretty those new dishes will look in my kitchen.
            The boys, by the way, won’t be using them. Lloyd and I agree on that. I’ll use them when my sisters stop by for a cup of tea or coffee, or when the preacher’s wife comes in for a visit. I might even sew up some napkins and get the girls to embroider daisies on them.
            The old grandfather clock in the corner shows that it’s nearly nine o’clock now, and I can’t believe I’m soon going to be drinking my morning cup of tea out of a brand new cup that came all the way across the ocean from London, England. I’ve tried not to act too excited about it, even though it’s not every day something so nice comes into this house.
            “Helen, you ready to head into town in a bit?” Lloyd calls from the porch. He’s been giving the boys their chores for the day.
            I wipe down the kitchen counter and set my old, stained ironstone cup upside down on the draining rack.
            “Yes, Lloyd, I’m ready,” I say.
            After drying my hands on the dish towel, I untie my apron, gather my pocketbook, and reach for my old blue hat. It’s time to bring my new dishes home.


  1. Another wonderful story! I look forward to your Saturday morning stories, and they don't disappoint. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  2. Fun story that every lady can relate to!

  3. My Saturday morning treat !!! Thank You !!

  4. You transported me back in time, when life was hard, family important and egg money cautiously saved. Helen 'deserved' that china, and I'm glad that Lloyd knew that!

  5. Helen was very fortunate to have a thoughtful husband in a period of hard times for everyone in the Appalachians. I can also visualize that story taking place in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

  6. Your piece this week was extra special. How beautifully written!! ♥

  7. I love how thoughtful her hubby is buying dishes. Very special. Maybe I should let my hubby read this!

  8. Another nice story. I wonder if my Great-Grandparents had a similar conversation at one time or another.

  9. I can just see Helen and her brand new dishes. Some day she will be passing them down to her children. I have my husband's grandmother's Apple pattern from1942, chips and all. Lovely story, thank you.

  10. Another great story, Angela - glad to see some nice dishes going to a good home. Also nice to see the thoughtfulness on the part of her husband. I enjoy your stories, thank you. Hope you have a nice weekend, Joanie

  11. Oh, Miss Angela!! What a lovely way to start the morning!! The snow-blower crew is outside, kicking up a racket, and we're huddling in for another day or two, as it's still coming down. The makings of cocoa and coffee and tea are on the counter, for when the guys need a warming cup to sustain them for all this COLD, and I can't think of a nicer plan for a day than these charming stories.

    And after reading here for so many years, how did I not know about this? Your folks are simply charming and so REAL and so beautifully-drawn, and I'm really looking forward to meeting all of them, for a little glimpse into their lives. (I'm re-reading Father Tim and all the Mitford folk on my NOOK at night, and these are remarkably similar in character and in style).

    Thank you,


  12. I'm late reading our Saturday tale and I felt like I was right there with Helen as she talked about the blue set of dishes. One of the gals from our garden club who is near 90 used to tell us about saving her egg money for special things she wanted. :-)
    A heart warming story Angela.

  13. SO sweet! I have some of my grandmother's blue dishes from that period in history. They aren't from England, though!

  14. SO sweet! I have some of my grandmother's blue dishes from that period in history. They aren't from England, though!

  15. BRAVO!!!!

    Now you are one amazing author, my dear friend Angela! I swear you transported me back in time. I hear, smell and felt the 30s. Loved it.

  16. That almost brings a tear to my eyes to read of her excitement. I remember growing up and having to count pennies just for food, no fancy dishes came into our house unless someone gave them to us. So this would have been so exciting. Now grammer, hummm? I have never heard this term: " I’ll swanee", must be a southern thing.


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