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Finding Treasure

January 11, 2018

 

I love this story I wrote last year. The only thing that is different is that our 10x10 is now a 5x5 that is emptying quickly. 😃

If you have lost or had to let go of something (or someone), know that what is on the other side can be even better...read on...

A nearby 10x10 storage space holds what's left from two combined households' worth of our most cherished, needed, or useful possessions...

Including one indiscriminate bankers box containing some antique blue dishes.

I acquired this set about five years ago, when I was single. I had let go of my own precious, but much used, everyday china a few years earlier.

I'd owned and used that everyday china set since I was 18. The 30-year old set wasn't fancy, and I'm sure it wasn't worth much. But it was a valued possession to me, in that it was representative of so many good memories.

They went with me to college. For over three decades, they fed friends and family.

I raised my son with those dishes.

They were a constant—throughout many moves, and challenges, and changes.

My previous marriage was precariously rocky when I decided to let them go. I was trying to make a point to my then-husband of the necessity of releasing his own past, in order to heal, and embrace the now and future.

In an act of desperation, I carefully wrapped each piece, boxed them all up, and handed it all over to my Mother In Law for her to sell in her thrift store.

I let go of something precious of mine to try to set an example.

And I cried, as a piece of my OWN past went out the door.

I wanted to show I was all in, and that I was not asking for more from him than I was willing to do or give, myself.

It didn't work.

And after that tumultuous relationship finally ended, and HIS dishes left my home, I found myself alone AND dish-less.

My cupboards and heart were bare.

On top of the emptiness, pain and grief, it seemed my sacrifice was just a big waste.

And then, one day, I decided a few things:

I decided to not be sad about my loss.

I decided that even though my china was gone, the memories made with them were not.

I decided my son wouldn't care what he ate on when he visited, as long as I was happy and cooking.

I decided that pretty little set of durable old china would better serve a new family. I imagined a young woman, who maybe didn't have a lot of money, setting up a household for her and her new husband for the very first time, just as I did so long ago; and finding that whole set of pretty china stacked on a table in a THRIFT store of all places...and visualizing her lighting up, feeling like she'd found TREASURE. I imagined her a few years later, as a new mother feeding her children, and eventually raising up a happy family, using my old plates, and bowls and saucers, and teacups.

I felt better.

And then, I decided that if I couldn't have my old china set back, that I would have EXACTLY what I wanted:

I wanted blue dishes.

I didn't know exactly what they looked like; but I knew I would know them when I found them. I loved the way food looked on cobalt blue dishes, and I wanted some.

So I went shopping.

After weeks of looking all over, and not finding anything remotely like what I visualized, I set aside my desire for awhile, stopped looking, and continued to eat off the few random plates I had left.

Then, one day, a few months later, I walked into a local antique store searching for a cedar chest.

And, there they were.

Delicate, beautiful, clear, cobalt blue dishes, with pretty fluted edges. It was an entire set for TWELVE, with dinner plates, salad plates, saucers, and the most delicate little teacups.

It was a perfect set of beautiful antique dishes for 12 people, and the price was only $75.

It was as if I had found TREASURE.

They were PERFECT, and I was enamored.

The store owner said they had just come in, and even mentioned the name of the previous owner who had just dropped them off; and I KNEW her!

After I brought home my pretty blue dishes, I called her.  I told her my story, and she told hers.

Those dishes of hers had a story, too!

And, she was SO excited, even though she was pained to finally let them go; that her pretty blue dishes were with ME, now; that they would be used and appreciated daily, instead of gathering dust.

Fast-forward to today...

I have been aboard S/V Chrysalis, on and off now, for nearly two years. She came fully stocked with plain, white Corelle plates, bowls and saucers that fit into custom fitted carved teak cabinetry which keeps everything from sliding out of place when the boat rocks or heels over.

They are durable.

They are sensible.

They are ultra-practical for boat life.

They're what everyone says I SHOULD have.

They are hideously boring.

And they aren't MINE.

So, today, after Lucky and I had already been running around town doing errands and working long enough that we were both brain- and body-fried; as we were driving back toward the boatyard, I quietly asked,

"Lucky?"

"Yes, Baby."

"Would it be okay if we went by the storage facility and tried to find my blue dishes?"

Now, know, that we have no specific idea of where they are, other than in a white banker's box marked "blue dishes" in a packed-full 10x10 storage unit.

Nevertheless, without a hesitation, he responded:

"Would it make you happy?" he asked.

"You have no idea," I answered.

It took me only a few minutes to locate them; and then another 15 minutes for Lucky to move this stack, and then that box, slide this out of the way, and then scoot that over--like undoing a giant Jenga stack--for me to get my hands on and unpack what I needed from that highly coveted and tightly sealed white box.

Then, Lucky had to put all the boxes and stacks back in their places, so that the big door would once again close.

He was so patient, as I picked through the boxes; and silent, as I happily and tearfully rediscovered and reclaimed one of my "lost" treasures.

As we pulled into the boatyard and turned off the Jeep, I turned to him and said,

"You can't possibly understand how much it means to have those dishes back with me."

He replied,

"I don't HAVE to understand...

I just have to LOVE you."

Lucky, THANK YOU for loving me the way you do. Thank you for allowing my occasional and seemingly random indulgences; and for sharing in the ride with my emotions, as they ebb and flow.

Thank you for not having to understand; yet still loving me with such fierce loyalty, and unwavering devotion to my happiness.

Of all my “treasures,” I covet you MOST...❤ 

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