Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I was able to visit my grandmother on Easter Sunday. We couldn't stay for long. It is very tiring to have visitors. Not long after we arrived, she brought me upstairs -- she had something for me. On the coffee table sat her silver tea service. A wedding gift from Great-Aunt Jewel, including pot, creamer, sugar, tea tray, and a large serving tray. They were to be mine.
As a little girl, I used to drink tea with my grandma. She showed me how to hold the lid of the pot secure and tip, ever so carefully. The milk from the creamer would cloud my cup of black Twinings with gloriously thick plumes. The sugar spoon was passed with a knowing smile. We'd discuss life and she'd tell stories. I particularly liked tales of her early years and could never get over the fact she once worked for two men, Mr. Body and Mr. Finger. "It's true!" she would giggle. "That really was their names!"
Now grown, sitting on the sofa together, I asked her what she liked to use this service for. Writing on the back of an opened envelope (ever the thrifty lady, she is), she wrote, "Socials. It's nice to be busy." (The tray, she continued, was good for cakes, sandwiches ... and with a wave of her hand ... any variety, really.) She has spent a lifetime hosting and serving others and busy, she has always been.
This set is a treasure by any standard. Given from her hands to mine, the past meeting present with the hope of the future -- this is the real treasure. And she mine.