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Shannon Brady

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Broken china no more


how a set of discarded dishes could butter up a hardened heart

Every time I butter my bread now I’ll be thinking of Aunt Karen and Uncle Freddy. At least when placing said bread atop a lovely Wedgwood fine bone china dish recently acquired trolling about a random consignment shop near Sea Pines Circle last weekend.

I have no idea who they are, Aunt Karen and Uncle Freddy. Nor do I have a clue as to just what inspired my “antiquing gives me hives” husband to abruptly pivot off road and into Annie’s Consignment shop. But it happened. And I now have a gorgeous set of never-before-used dishes to adorn our newly acquired contemporary dining room table. Dishes that were intended for – we discovered a day later – Jessica and Jeff.

Not sure what Jessica and Jeff are up to, but I suspect they aren’t antiquing around town. Most certainly not together, anyway.

They’re still in the original boxes…”

“She dug ’em out of a forgotten closet during the divorce,” the proprietor sighed as I ran my finger around the silver rimmed saucer bearing nary a scratch. Only a stubborn bar code never removed. As my husband admired the intricately finespun sky blue pattern bordering a serving dish, my heart softened. And time-traveled back to hardened time – my own breakup 8 years ago. Jessica and Jeff, I can relate, I realized in that moment. He didn’t say as much, but I think my husband’s heart warmed a few degrees in the moment too – he with his own who-gets-the-crystal-and-china breakup story of yore.

So in spite of his proclivity toward beefy brand new Pottery Barn man mugs to pretty little teacups, my husband agreed to purchase the entire set (at a fabulous discount – treasures do exist within the dusty cornices of your local consignment shop) of dishes to give them new life. Life inside a happy Hilton Head home of a second-time-around marriage of a couple who love each other deeply and whose hearts are soft and warm. Just like butter.

So thank you Aunt Karen and Uncle Freddy, whoever you are.

Now someone please pass the bread.



3 comments on “Broken china no more

    1. Lynda Bailey says:

      I love this story, I’m sure there are many like it, but it’s a sweet “love story” for the two of you. Bon Appetite

  1. greg weaver says:

    I really do hate antiquing…and furniture shopping works for me only as targeted in and out assignments. Love and kisses –
    The salty dog :<)

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