Once upon a time, a long long time ago when the Earth was young and so was I, my parents decided it was time to buy a set of china.
In our fair little town there was a jewelry store - Jacobson's Jewelry - which was owned and operated by Marie and Halger Jacobson, proud Swedes, who also just happened to be members of the church where my dad was the pastor. Jacobson's was a jewelry store by name, but by wares it was much more. Besides jewelry it offered the finest in watches, figurines, and china.
It was to Jacobson's that my parents went to pick their china pattern.
Mom preferred Johnson Brothers Indian Tree Ironstone.
She felt it was practical - - - of a heavy enough weight to be useful for every day and pretty enough for entertaining. She also liked the variety of sizes and shapes of bowls it had to offer.
Dad preferred Haviland Forget-Me-Nots. It was clearly fine china and besides, our last name was Heavilin which is very close to Haviliand. (Later the genaeologists in the family discovered the names are indeed linked.)
I remember that my parents returned home to debate their choice. There was precious little need for this debate - - - dad always yielded to mom's wishes in such matters.
And so it was that a few days later the Indian Trees came home to roost in our china cabinet.
Months passed and the great china debate was forgotten by all. All that is except Marie. Marie knew that dad's Forget-Me-Not choice was by far the finer china. Her heart, which loved all the finest of things, ached to see him give up his Haviland china in deference to his wife's wishes.
Thus it was that on Christmas Eve there came a knock on the parsonage door. When the door was opened, in sailed Marie with several elegantly wrapped large gift boxes in her hands. As she placed them beneath the tree, she smiled at my dad and said, "This is for your SECOND wife." And with a wink and a grin she was gone.
The boxes contained a complete set of the Forget-Me-Nots.
They became our Sunday Best China and the Indian Tree our every day.
Several years ago, when my dad began to thin out his personal possessions he gave me the Haviland Forget-Me-Nots and Sister Pam adopted the Indian Trees. When Fisherhubby and I moved here last fall, Dad boxed up the Forget-Me-Nots - - -
And sent them here to live on the middle shelf of my china cabinet. You can see them there, tucked in behind the Wedgewood.
I love their transluscent daintiness.
I love their sensuous twists and curves.
I love their gold edgings and fine details.
But most of all, I love the story they have to tell.
(Photo Credit: the photos of the Indian Tree China came from various web pages where they are being sold.)