The Pancake Chronicles

The Pancake Chronicles: tea leaves ... and comes back again

The Pancake Chronicles

Saturday, February 03, 2007

tea leaves ... and comes back again

Sometime during my high school years my mom decided it was time for me to pick out a china pattern. So up we got and off we trundled to a lovely china shop in Abbotsford. I remember not being very stirred, which is to say I was disheartened at the sight of all these plates and tea cups and matching salt and peppers. It seemed dull and grown up and nothing that I was interested in. But I do remember when I first laid my eyes on this:

My breath sucked in like a little backwards ahhhh. This was it! I loved it and knew this was the one. So sweet! And since I've always been interested in names and meanings of names and all things named I turned over the teacup to see ...

Now how perfect is that! That sealed the deal. We bought the teacup. Unfortunately within the year the pattern was discontinued. I was deeply disappointed and all I had in the end was the teacup along with a cream and sugar set. But time passes and my tastes have changed and I've wonder now what I saw in it that very first time. Quizical eybrow raised. It holds a different blend of feelings and thoughts now. Maybe like switching from Earl Grey to Oregon Chai Tea Lattes. Yet something that surpasses trends and changing styles. It symbolises beauty that was stirred inside of me at a certain time in my life. Is that too cheesy? I wonder.

Just this week I was visiting my parents in the beautiful Okanagan. I carefully wrapped the china in my Wal*Mart camou T-shirt and a plastic bag, put it in my carry-on, warned all the airport security guards that "if you have to open my bag please be careful because I have a fragile teacup in there" and brought it home. In a way it seems out of place here. Quaint. Dated. I feel I need to explain its presence. "It's old. I'm different now." But I don't explain. Instead I place it under my single brew coffee maker and enjoy my daily cuppa.


Blogger Scrapnqueen said...

Perfect. Just perfect.

3 February 2007 at 20:45  
Blogger villagegirl said...

I too have things that I used to think were breathtaking and now I don't think so anymore. I think it's just a part of growning up and I think there is a great deal of it done in the early 20's. That pattern is very pretty and how could you not be taken with it when you turned it over! How often does that happen! :)

3 February 2007 at 21:03  
Blogger Kori said...

"Colleen", how fitting!! Isn't life like that sometimes? We change, time changes...

My china pattern story goes like this... a friend of my mom's (not her friend anymore) who knew I liked her pattern put her whole set in her will for me!! Then next thing I know, this is now my chosen pattern. I never did really pick it. So, I got a few pieces as gifts over the years and it too became discontinued! Thankfully my sister had worked at "Woodwords" and the women there remembered it was my pattern and she told me it couldn't be ordered but that I could exchange it for something else. In the end, I took back about 10 pieces and exchanged it for a full 10 pplace setting plus extra pieces for the same price!! In my mind I scored :)

4 February 2007 at 00:27  
Blogger Dickie Chick said...

I think the china is wonderful! There is something wonderful about how items resemble a certain time in our lives. Your tastes, the beauty you saw in it at the time. I love that it's called "Colleen". Very fitting indeed. Even though our tastes change, there is something about the china that will always resemble you. I think that's pretty cool!

4 February 2007 at 07:37  
Blogger Koala Bear said...

That is so cool how the china pattern you picked was named "Colleen"! It's like it was meant for you....even though your tastes have changed over the years, that teacup will always be special to you.

4 February 2007 at 11:29  
Anonymous Susan H said...

In the end it wasn't so bad that you only had this sentimental tea cup is it? :-) Since your taste has changed you aren't 'stuck' with a whole set. Personally, I think it's very special that you enjoy your daily cuppa that has 'Colleen' on the underside and the story behind it.

'Cozy' is my favorite word and that's what I think of this story.

4 February 2007 at 11:47  
Blogger Sonya said...

I think it's a beautiful tea cup and I love that it's named Colleen.

I WISH I only had a tea cup from my set. I loved my pattern in my 20's but now I have a sizeable set built up and don't really like it. I never even use it. Sad, but true.

4 February 2007 at 21:36  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

Picking out china patterns in highschool?

I really like how Susan worded her thoughts. Couldn't say it better.

Next time we are together I'll bring one of my tea cups and we shall sip coffee out of tea cups and enjoy every moment of it! When are you coming for a visit?

Love you dear friend.

4 February 2007 at 21:50  
Blogger Colleen said...

The cup has so much value to me now and yes, I am glad now that it discontinued and I wasn't stuck with the whole set! I would like to find the tea cup that my Grandma (whom I never met) always wanted. My mom said she and Grandma would walk past the display window of the Co-op store in Weyburn and every time Grandma would stop and look at the Forget-Me-Not patterned teacup and say how beautiful it was. She never bought a teacup because she couldn't afford it. I saw some on E-Bay and I know an antique store in Langley where it may be available so I think I will suss out the perfect one and buy it on Grandma's behalf. Then I shall make the perfect cup of tea in it and think of her. I think it would be cool to have a small collection of teacups that have meaning like that. And I would try not to save them for special occasions (as I'm infamous for doing) but use them often and make special occasions. :)

4 February 2007 at 22:16  
Blogger Colleen said...

Ruthie - yes, china patterns in high school! I guess it was a rite of passage of sorts. Mom? Are you out there reading this? Any comments you'd like to add regarding this?

I do hope I'll see you before fall but alas we'll have to see ... it's been too long. Like 3 years or somesuch nonsense?

4 February 2007 at 22:19  
Blogger Colleen said...

Everyone! Have I told you lately that I love you? You're the most uplifting, encouraging, affirming group of sistas a girl could have.

I'm a sap. So sue me.

4 February 2007 at 22:24  
Blogger Colleen said...

And really I just keep writing stuff so it looks like I have more comments.

4 February 2007 at 22:24  
Blogger Colleen said...


4 February 2007 at 22:25  
Blogger Rachel said...

Looks like I am the only loser who did NOT pick out a China pattern in highschool nor do I even OWN any china whatsoever!

4 February 2007 at 22:57  
Blogger Colleen said...

Rachel - take Sonya's ... she's not using hers.

5 February 2007 at 10:01  
Blogger Scrapnqueen said...

Colleen - I LOVE the idea about buying your Grandma's favourite teacup, and a "sentimental value" set. PERFECT!

Rachel - I don't have any china either, except for one antique teacup I got when my Grandma died. And I'm okay with that. (Teacups don't keep the heat in long enough for my drinking habits. I need me some good, solid, stoneware, with a narrow top.)

(My word verification looks like it's spitting at me: phplpjtm)

6 February 2007 at 21:36  
Blogger Colleen said...

Hi, T. I spoke with my word verification and I don't think it'll be spitting at you again. I was very stern with it. Let me know if it happens again.

8 February 2007 at 07:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have a clue who you are, but your story touched my heart. You have a blog worth visiting, it made me remember some really nice memories I'd forgotten - I hope you don't mind me commenting...and thanks...
Bunsen T. Honeydew

8 February 2007 at 14:06  
Blogger Colleen said...

You are truly welcome! Comment and come anytime, Bunsen. :) Thank you for your words. They affect and affirm me without a doubt.

10 February 2007 at 10:29  

any questions?

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