Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The China Cupboard in the Corner

Even though we were young, my cousins and I must have realized the china cupboard situtated in a corner of the dining room of the old farmhouse was off limits. I don't remember us talking about it. If we had talked about it I would have remembered because such talks were usually long ones. And I don't remember any adult telling us not to play near the cupboard so it must have been our youthful intuition at work. Oh we played in the dining room all the time. We ran through it, played tag around the oak pedestal table; hid buttons for "Button, Button, Who's Got The Button", laughed and giggled in games of "Red Light-Green Light" and so much more but not once did we venture near that cupboard. Looking back I think it's because we knew it wasn't just any china cupboard. It was our grandmother's china cupboard.

The glass doors were only opened on special occasions-including Thanksgiving. When they were, out came bone china dining sets and serving bowls and silver soup ladles and tall, etched goblets. Underneath the glass doors were two pull-out drawers full of fine linen tablecloths and crocheted, linen napkins and serving pads.The cupboard had its own special smell-a mixture of shellac and green tea. For some reason my grandmother kept her green tea bags near her collection of china tea cups. Throughout the year she'd go to the cupboard; choose a cup, pick out a tea bag, boil some water and enjoy a cup of tea. I don't know exactly how many cups and saucers she had but I remember thinking there were zillions. The cups hung from little hooks. Some were decorated in an old-English flair; others with dainty flowers and swirly designs. Others were void of anything but a gold-like rim. My favorite cup had pretty clovers all over it. The saucers were neatly stacked on the shelf underneath the cups.

When my grandparents moved out of the farmhouse the cupboard was relocated to one of my aunt's.

The tea cups with matching saucers were divided up between the grandchildren. I felt so lucky. I was given the cup with the pretty clovers!

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