My grandmother, Meme, was a dreamer, and a master of pretend play. The reality of her life was that she grew up very poor during the depression, in a large family, and saw much more than her fair share of tragedy. It's precisely that, I'm sure, that made her the dreamer she was. I adored being with her and all the dreaming we would do together-- we had secret names for each other (what? you think I'm telling? never!); had grand adventures to many places (including the 'seaside cruise' we went on in her backyard in the summer--which amounted to laying in lawn chairs, running a looooong extension cord from the house to prop a fan in front of us, closing our eyes and 'listening' to the boats in the harbor... All of this in the rural mountains of Maine, of course.); we had a tea party every day I was there; and of course, went on many a 'treasure hunt' at yard sales and junk shops. On the summer of my 10th birthday, she decided our mission would be to find a real (as in, not a child's) tea set. Because every 10 year old girl needs her own tea set, right? Naturally. After a few days of hunting around, I came upon the tea set above at a shop, and I was sure that this was THE ONE. I think it surprised her--certainly it wasn't the 'fine china' that she had in mind, or that I was usually drawn to (we're talking about a child who already had a bavarian china collection at this point!), but - never one to get in the way of a child's dream - she bought this one for me anyway.
Mostly, it's sat in a box in some basement or another for the past 20 years. I've never been so sure that I love it, and haven't really had a place to keep it out anyway. I dug it up yesterday, as we're getting ready for Ezra's third birthday in two weeks and he wants a 'tea party'. I hadn't really looked at it in about 5 years and was surprised when I opened the box. Surprised that I think I kind of like it again. Or at the least, am very interested in figuring out what my 10 year old self loved about it. Today's goal is to find a spot for it so I can ponder just that. And so I can have a tea party with my little ones, perhaps on a breezy seaside cruise.