Behind The Scenes – Teacups

I am linking up with Crystal Stine today for Behind the Scenes.  This is a fun link up where we show you a picture and then tell you the story behind that picture – the stuff that you can’t see in the frame.  There are some funny stories, heartwarming stories and brave stories over HERE.  Won’t you join us?

The Photo


“Please, Grandma, can we have tea?” 

I can remember myself crawling up on the kitchen chair, as a little girl, my knees and thighs, sticking to the tacky vinyl covering.  Grandma was in the kitchen.  Her kitchen was a place of magic.  Every thing that would make a little girl’s mouth water was created in her kitchen.  Pie, lots and lots of pie. Tarts, cherry and lemon.  Peanut butter cookies.  Chocolate chip cookies.  Angle food cake.   I can even now taste all of it. I can taste all of the magical goodness that emerged from that tiny space.   
But what I remember most about Grandma’s kitchen.  The one in the old white house on Maria Street, with the stained glass window in the front room and Grandpa’s peonies filling the yard with fragrance is, big-girl tea-time.  Down came her tea pot, the Royal Albert Lavender Rose one.  Along with the fancy tea pot came the “special cups and saucers” that were just for us kids when we would have tea with Grandma.  They were tiny, miniature even.  Not so big that we would spill, and not too, too small that we felt like we weren’t getting enough.  
The tea would be poured and copious amounts of sugar and milk would get stirred into our cups.  We would sit around the kitchen table with our pinkies in the air and delicately sip from the edges of fine bone china.  We would also be nibbling on whatever goodness had come from Grandma’s oven earlier in the week.  I felt like a princess.  Like the everyday was a special occasion.
On Sunday, while I was preparing an afternoon pot of tea for myself, the basket with all of the tea cups that came from my Grandma’s and my Oma’s houses caught my eye.  It was up high, on top of the cabinets in the kitchen.  Teacups that hadn’t seen the light of day in several years.  I asked my husband to lift them down for me.  
They had most definitely been neglected.  Each one was covered in that filmy scum that gathers in the nether regions of a kitchen from all of the cooking, steam and frying that happens over the course of a thousand meal times.  Their shiny glazes, dulled yellow and dingy.  I quickly filled the sink with hot water and soap and carefully washed away the years.
It got me thinking.  Why do we hide the old things?   Why do we push back into the corners of our houses, the things that hold memories and deem them not fashionable enough, or not hip enough to match our current decor?  Can we not live with the old and the new pressed up close together?  A meshing of memorized moments and new memories? 
I pulled out two of the teacups – there are about 24 in all- and set them apart.  Currently they reside on my dining room table because I need to find space in my house for the old.  My goal in the coming year?  Is to uncover all of those things that I have stored away in boxes in my haste to make room for new and find a way to make those memories part of my home. 
And, from now on, I will be sipping tea from fine-china tea cups because everyday is a celebration and life deserves to be lived right out to the very edges. 

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