Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Something Magic

Something magic has happened to day that has simultaneously made me want to cry and filled me with a warm and happy feeling.

Early in the 1940s my wonderful Grandma left Canada to become the wife of a handsome English RAF Officer and to join his family in England. She carried in her luggage a precious gift from her cousins, a set of Oneida Community Plate Flatware – or silver cutlery to you and me. Because of the expense and rationing of the time the set wasn’t quite complete and Grandma & Grandad made it up with some nice, but miss-matching silver.

Many years later, when my Grandma was the pink and white lady I shall always remember, Frog and I decided to move in together, not yet married but very much in love. It always makes me sad to think Grandma never saw us married. I am sure she knew we were right for each other though, because just before we left she gave me the cutlery, the same set she had treasured all the way from Canada, which she began her life with my Grandad with. She apologised that bits didn’t match, that it was only for six people, the dessertspoons were all wrong etc etc. I promised that I would keep my eyes scoured to complete it, but she tut-tutted and said she very much doubted I would manage it, as it was an American/ Canadian design very much of that time and not so very special.

You can guess how special it is to me. The beautiful rose pattern, the pleasure in cleaning it, getting it out for special holidays and when good friends come round to dinner; knowing that someone I love so very much had the same pleasure when she started housekeeping with her man. It is very very special.

Well it soon became clear that this design wasn’t to be found outside of North America & Canada, although I have always kept my eyes open when wandering around London’s markets and spent several hours scouring Portobello Rd. A few years passed by, and it became obvious that if I wanted to complete the set I would have to import pieces from America. Ebay confirmed that there were indeed sellers with the odd piece – but far from being “not very special” they were collectible, and “not very cheap” – nor is living in London very cheap when I worked part time and Frog at that point was a student, so we knew we had to be patient - not and easy task for me!

Then came the day when Frog and I proved my Grandma-ma right, and we got engaged. And my fabulous parents decided that as our wedding present they would complete the cutlery set for us. What was a wedding gift to my Grandma & Grandad, would become a wedding gift to us as well.

Now those who know us, know we have been married for nearly two years – so why this story now? Because finally with the help of the wonderful ebayer qirisma123 I found enough pieces in one lot, the right pieces I should say, to fill most of my missing gaps and expand our set, and at a price we could afford to import. Carefully packed they have traveled all the way from the town of Golden in Colorado to New Cross, London.

So today, I took those mismatched pieces, which I shall nevertheless treasure, out of the cutlery box, and carefully placed the “new” pieces in. The box, and my heart are full. I could never ever forget my Grandma & Grandad, but to have something that was a wedding present to them, completed by my parents as a wedding present to us, which I hope one day I will be able to pass on to the next generation, well it really is something magic.

And the design of the cutlery, appropriately enough, is called – Forever.

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