When the due date was near, our Quills of Faith Writer’s Group gave a Tea-Party-Brunch-Baby-Shower (can you say that five times fast?) for our revered writing mentor, Cindy McCormick Coloma. In lieu of games, we each brought our favorite teacup or mug to use and tell the story behind its specialness – in fifty words or less.
A fitting and clever writer exercise we’d all enjoy.
Owning a sizable collection of cups and saucers, I opened my curio cabinet to decide between various teacups. Which had the best story? What about that delicate cup of Grandma’s? Or the antique chintz charmer I bought in Alaska? I considered several, enjoying their cool smoothness in my hands, remembering how they came to be mine.
Then I realized that many of my collections started because someone I knew collected it first. The teacup bought on an Alaska trip reminded me that my sister-in-law collected chintz long before me. In fact, I recalled once buying three pretty, patterned cups and saucers for her in an antique store in Woodland, California.
The plan was to give my sis a set every Christmas for the next three years. Only, that’s not what happened. I gave her the first one as a gift, then accidentally displayed the others, adding to them on occasion, until it became a full-blown collection.
A similar thing happened when I bought my niece a pink lustre plate for Christmas. Extremely attracted to this piece, I sensed the danger of another accidental collection about to materialize. And multiply. Since there were many months to go before the holiday, I wrapped that baby in a box and hid it in my gift cupboard.
Danger alert averted.
Or so I thought. Until I found three more pink lustre plates in an antique store in La Pine, Oregon. Those pesky plates persuaded me to take them home and soon showed themselves off on my wall, whining for a fourth plate. I dug it out of the gift cupboard and added it to the arrangement. Gorgeous.
Great. Now, I collected pink lustre, too. And was in need of a gift for my niece.
What did that say about me? Was anyone’s collection safe? Did I have to copy everybody’s coolest stuff? I hoped not. Perhaps there was another explanation.
Maybe I just shouldn’t shop so early for Christmas.