Sundog, Lake Marie Oregon 2018

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Good China

I will be spending much of this week sorting lots of things I have been tucking away in the garage for a future Flea Market day.  Well, the future is here.  The big flea market in San Jose has a free day on the first Saturday of the month. My main goal is to remind myself what is in all those bags and boxes, price things, and get on with it.  I want to sell the fake fur.  I can't see dumping it, and I'm not sure Goodwill will take it.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about "things" as I work.  Although my china set is not yet in the "go" pile, I am letting go of it mentally.  Years ago, on our 20th anniversary Craig wanted to buy china.  We had married very young and didn't have a wedding.  We struggled to make end meet more years than I care to remember, and never had money for the "finer" things like china and crystal.

I remember going to Macy's with him and looking as really nice china.  We picked out some, but when we were paying for it I was told that it all had to be "hand washed."  What?  I figured I would be using it for special occasions and big dinners.  Who wants to wash more dishes by hand than necessary at times like that?

We stopped the transaction, and I found a pleasant, inexpensive set that was on sale.  I could put it in the dishwasher without fear.

Some years went by and I used it often.  Then in 1989 we had a big earthquake and most of the china was broken.  The insurance adjuster appraised it at about three times what I had paid for it.  I didn't correct him because he lowballed us on other things.

In this house I have a big, beautiful dining room.  A beautiful place for beautiful dinners.  I also have a dishwasher that has a "China" temperature setting. So,  I used the insurance money toward a 12 place setting set of Noritake china and a beautiful set of flatware to go with. I have enjoyed using it, but I just don't see keeping it.

As I type this post, I have decided that I will keep the flatware.  Who says knives and forks can't be elegant in an RV?  My good flatware doesn't weigh any more than my everyday stuff, and hand washing is the way I'll be doing it in the Alfa.

We don't want to put anything in storage. Our daughter will keep a few things for us in her attic, but we'd like to be free of sizable items. Maybe she can keep half the flatware for me, it won't take up much room.  I'm sure we will probably settle down to a small house or condo someday, but when that time comes we can get new dishes.  I don't see our having a large dining room again, or my hosting family holidays.  I hope I can help my daughter at her house!

I feel that the important things are the people, not the dishes, and I can serve quite nice meals on my Corelle, or paper plates for that matter.  If I want china, I will find a bargain on eBay or at Goodwill.

I've checked eBay and Craigslist and find some of the same pattern going for about 1/3 of what I paid for it.  I just hate the process of selling things. I might do some research into an estate sale after the house sells.  The only question I have about them is that our house is not in a very good location for the casual garage sale buyer.

So, think of me on Saturday.  I have to get up at about 4:00 AM.  Yuck.  Craig is not coming along.  Hopefully he will get a lot done around the house that day.


  1. We did an estate sale after my parents died. Trust me, buyers will come - provided the sale is well-promoted. The trick is finding the right agent.

    Having said that, most of the buyers will be other dealers. A good experienced estate sale agent will have a thick network of dealers looking to beef up their inventories.

  2. Kathy has never bothered with two sets of dishes. If guest come to our place they will eat off the same dishes we use every day.

    Maybe you should try a Garage or Yard Sale before hauling all that stuff to another location.

    Craig should go with you because you need two sets of eyes sometimes so you don't get cheated. Don't use a cash box, use a belt pack. Our neighbor was selling for a charitable fund raiser and while her back was turned someone emptied her cash box. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. I'm more of the paper plate type of person. I was lucky - my son wanted my dishes which included his great grandmother's china and his grandmother's Franciscan dishes. Good luck with your sale. Hope you can unload a lot of stuff.


  4. M,
    Good luck with the garage sale..... And the sorting.... It is such a chore and very exhausting getting the downsizing task accomplished ..... I have had my share of the stages and how tough it is to complete the task ..... I wish you lots of luck and please do not get discouraged....
    I will be thinking of you and sending positive thoughts !

  5. I agree you can have elegance in an RV. When my parents sold their house and moved to an apartment we found a auction house that came out and gave us estimates for everything. They accepted and the came and brought a truck and loaded it themselves. That was a worth it right there. Not sure if you have such a thing there or not.

  6. Your dishes are very pretty. But if they are not being used anymore then why keep them. When we emtied my dad's house we found so many sets of dishes. I took the china and used it for many years. Recently in my down sizing I thought it was time for it to go. Donated it to charity. I don't think it was a good quality like yours. Hope you do well at the sale.

  7. I designated many things to grandchildren. Two were old enough to appreciate and the other two may in years to come.

  8. I designated many things to grandchildren. Two were old enough to appreciate and the other two may in years to come.

  9. I feel for ya having to get up so early for a sale. Good luck, I'm sure things will sell well. You have beautiful things!

  10. Good luck with the sale. Great attitude in realizing it is not the possessions, but the people who really count.

  11. For years..the last 20 or so..I have spent buying and selling...mainly dishes and linens. It was fun and I made money at it but that is over pretty much now....hardly anything sells on e-bay anymore...especially dishes. Time to move on...I hav found people are not even going to garage sales anymore...the last one I had I told myself no more. It is only stuff..

  12. We had 3 sets of Noritake china to unload when we sold our house. Our parents got it cheap when they were in Japan. We still have one set sitting in our storage shed (which I swore I wouldn't have) I need to advertise it on Craig's List. We also have boxes and boxes of Crystal stemware. I have no idea what it's worth, but it's way too delicate for Rv use.

    I wish we had been able to get rid of more stuff before we moved, but we ran out of time and energy.

    Once you rent a storage unit, you'll find it really hard to empty it out later. We go over there with the intention of getting rid of stuff, get discouraged and leave.

    I agree on the flatware. You might as well use the good stuff. I'm thinking of using Al's Grandma's silverware.

    Good luck.

  13. Why not keep two plates and two bowls for in the rv. With some shelf liner between them they should ride well. Then you can haul them out when you want something a little special. (Any day that warrents champagne warrents china, and you know how often I do bubbles!).

  14. Do you know a newly married couple who might appreciate the china? Or a family who has had a fire or lost their home? We had a young couple on our street lose everything in a fire. They were grateful for anything given to them to get them up and running again.

  15. Way to go! It is difficult to jettison old stuff, that seems to become even more dear with passing years, regardless of utility.

  16. Sounds like more great progress, and good luck with sale. We still have way to much in storage that we will never use, going to do some more purging before we leave in May. Just to many wasted $$$$ going for storage on things that could be replaced later if need be.

  17. We just spent 3 days helping my son-in-laws Mom move, she did not have everything sorted and packed when we arrived at her house. My daughter says she never wants to have so much "stuff" to move and sort. I told her to have one really nice neutral pattern set of dishes with a service for 12-18 and to use it for all occasions and everyday. I told her that when we are all sitting around the table at the holiday, laughing and talking and enjoying the meal and the time together, that it does not matter what kind of dishes the food is on.

  18. Good for you. You are getting the hard decisions made. I take it your daughter does not want the china. Any nieces or nephews that might want it? Somewhere out there is some woman just dying to have nice dishes.

  19. If the china has depreciated, maybe your daughter would like to hang onto it, either as a keepsake or as a "wait until it's worth more" thing? Our everyday layout is plain white stuff, like you see in diners, complete with the fork and knife marks, and our china would be totally impractical for RVing. I think you're making the right call here!



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