Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Today I am grateful for Christmas dishes. I never had Christmas dishes, except for a few serving pieces, until we lived in Indonesia. And I wouldn’t have gotten them then either if circumstances hadn’t dictated I should have them.
The set of dishes belonged to our good friends, from North Carolina, who we met in Jakarta, Indonesia. She was and still is a freak for Christmas. I mean a freak! I’ve never seen anyone who got more “into” it. She bought everything “Christmas” she could find, including a set of dishes.
Celebrating the biggest Christian holiday in a Muslim country is interesting at best and depressing at worst. We left the comfort and security of the hotel we had been staying in and moved into our isolated house about two weeks before Christmas. While it was nice to get the golf clubs out of the bathtub and have some serious room to move around in, it was also incredibly lonely. The worst!
So the friend of dishes fame planned a little train trip to the mountains for Christmas Eve. Remember the old movie “The Christmas Story”, with Ralphie and his family having dinner in the Chinese restaurant? Yeah, that. We even had similar carolers. Yup. “Ringle awe da ray!”
Fast forward almost a year and my friends husband got bone cancer. After a stint in Singapore, it was determined he could not get proper care unless he went back to the states. I was already in the states on a home visit when I learned the horrible news. They gave him a less than 10% chance of surviving 5 years. He said, “Ten percent? I’ll take it!” Talk about a positive attitude. Like a well-planned movie, I arrived at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport on the same day that they were leaving. We literally met to say goodbye in the terminal. It was a pretty grim time.
A group of us friends were left to deal with packing up their belongings for shipping and selling anything that we could at various household sales. It’s difficult enough to decide what to keep, toss, or sell of your own stuff, but when it’s someone else’s the task is nearly impossible. Yet we did it.
I bought the Christmas dishes. Put a big price tag on them and snapped them up. The red is more pink, the gold is more yellow, the pine green is more mint. They are not very sophisticated in a fine china way, but I love them because I love from whom I got them.
We have remained friends for over 20 years. And if she ever wants them back. . .they are hers! Oh. . .and that 10% survival rate thing? He is still with us, too. Take that statistics!