This blog is welcome to anyone and everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Unless you don't like writing short stories or smelling bear. Or if you voted for the other guy. Also, I don't really like it when you leave up the toilet seat, so could you stop doing that? Muchas, muchas gracias.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tonight, Driving Back to San Francisco

Six boxes. Full of my grandmother's china. Earlier today I drove back to my house and packed up my dishes.

Six boxes of teacups, plates and saucers of innumerable sizes, tureens, bowls, wierd pieces with pedastals. A dish for pickles, a dish for olives, a fish platter and a platter for roast. Enough to host a five-course dinner for twenty-odd people. I saved packing up the china for last. There was something about it I couldn't face. And now I wonder why I haul these old dishes around? Why, when they're just going to sit in my roommate's garage? My mother loves this shit -- now that it's hit her that she doesn't own it, my mother covets this china; why don't I send it all to her?

My grandmother was not her china. Her name was Joy.

My grandmother was a scarf in the wind, a red camaro. She was champagne for breakfast and roses and sapphire. She was the beach, whether it was sunny or cold. A skipper of stones, a collector of beach glass, extravagant, forgetful, incapable of carrying a tune, my grandmother had tons of plates because she threw tons of parties. She was not her dishes.

Near the end of her life my grandmother contracted Alzheimer's, and the burden of her dishes fell to me because my mother wanted none of it, none of it, none of it.Tonight, driving back to San Francisco, I passed an extraordinary number of ambulances. I wondered if the darkness was thicker than usual, because my headlights seemed to just barely pierce it.

Tonight, I'm lonelier than ever. Tonight, I am a teacup.


Blogger Mone said...

Ohhh, big hugs for you.
My Grandma and even my Mom has dishes like that. I always felt, if the party is rigth mixed dishes will be just fine. Still something for you to remember her, even if you want use them...

12:30 AM

Blogger ticharu said...

check e-mail

5:44 AM

Blogger ginab said...



"tea cup?"



"n'k, plentiful. What gives?"

"fog to rain."

6:50 AM

Blogger Brookelina said...

They are beautiful. As are you.

8:33 AM

Blogger Karen Little said...

You have some beautiful memories, which are always good to hang on to.

9:23 AM

Blogger ginab said...

You know I recognize those dishes...unreal. Danish. The real deal. Yours and yours alone. Not sure why you're bored but maybe it's the yang coming out of so much fun.

1:03 PM

Blogger sage said...

throw an elegant and joyful party in your grandmother's memory, using her dishes... I too have China because my grandmother felt that I should have China, that's from Germany.

3:56 PM

Blogger ing said...


Mixed dishes, yes, and jelly jars for wine glasses -- that's my kind of party!






Fog to rain?



Awwww, thanks!!



I don't know, I wonder sometimes. . .



Yes, the yang. And a lot of sudden changes in my life.

Ah, well. Salsa dancing on Saturday night, come hell or high water.



Now there's an idea! I'll run that one by my roommate.

6:19 PM

Blogger josh williams said...

Your grandmother was cool, who knows what those dish's could tell if they had mouths and brains and some other things necessary for communication, I don’t know, I'm a guy... Great post, as are all of your posts. Do not loose those heirlooms, its your history and that’s cool, as is fog at night.Its amazing how you can remember fog at night, when it is something that completely blinds you, so...It reminds me of the beginning of West With the Night, great read.

9:15 PM

Blogger matty said...

So very glad you got your china!!!

makes me think of that Tori Amos song...

10:36 PM

Blogger wallycrawler said...

So your say'n your a tea cup , you drove home , into the dark , with your headlights on ?

OK I got wood !

7:34 AM

Blogger wallycrawler said...

Oh ya . Nice set !

7:35 AM

Blogger sage said...

and you can invite all your blog readers to the dinner. If I could be around, I'd volunteer for the kitchen.

6:08 PM

Blogger lryicsgrl said...

Your Grandmother was not her dishes. But, bear this in mind, they were important to her, especially as she set her dinner table. They were important to her as she anticipated the evening ahead, and focused her attention on their placement. No, they were not her, but hand picked by her. So, keep them Ing. They will one day be more than sentimental reminders. If you desire, they will be placed on a table, by you, as you anticipate an evening with your family of friends.


6:42 PM

Blogger ticharu said...

Today might be good.

7:09 AM

Blogger jungle jane said...

teacups. so fragile.

7:43 AM

Blogger Cornflake King said...

Cool blog, cool memories.


5:53 PM

Blogger ginab said...



"fog to rain?"

"yes, fog to rain."

"dernt make a blind bit of sense."

"to me, yes."

" ----".

"like the applause of a summer rain striking the tree's canopy...."

"click-click drrrr".

"mmmello? mmmello Ing?"

6:38 PM

Blogger Chris Capp said...

My grandmother died a little over a year ago and suffered from some Alzheimer's-like dementia. She was 90 when she died and on her 90th b'day my father asked her if she knew how old she was. "Oh," she said, "I don't know. Fifty?"

Maybe it's not the worst way to go.

Lovely dishes you've got.

Don't you think it's funny, though, that China is the only thing we call by the name of a country? We never say, "Hey, are you registered for Somalia?" "What's your Bolivia pattern?" "Is this genuine Kampuchea?"

What a strange language we speak.


12:12 AM

Blogger Jesus Toast said...

I am new here. I like it. I will hang out.

1:06 PM

Blogger ing said...


It's been so long since I blogged to ye!

Being a lady, I can tell you what those dishes say: they say Josh, they say wash me, Josh, wash me! They say thank you for your kindness, my good man. Thank you, and please use Palmolive. Josh, they say, we are about to reaveal the secret to true happiness. But first, please rinse us carefully. Thank you, Josh.

Yo, I never read West With The Night. What the hell is wrong with me?



Dare I ask which Tori Amos song you're referring to? Do I dare? Or will you look at me with the same horror you reserve for when I don't recognize the most famous line from a Barbra song? When I reveal that I do not know of The Fantastics? That I set my purse down on the floor?

Well, Matty, I live in the ghetto and have ghetto mannerisms, I suppose.



Do you now? Better call the wife -- she'll be thrilled!

I'm glad you like my dishes, by the way.



In that case, you're double-invited!!



Oh, I'm keeping them, for sure! It's just that sometimes I'm surprised by my own strong need to keep them.



I was planning on it, but it'll have to wait (busy!). Soon!



Tonight I am not a teacup. I am a beer mug.



Thanks, and cool cereal, cool bowl!



I would never drrrrrrr you.

Fog to rain: heavy weather, then?



Yes, strange, china.

I'm sure there are much worse ways to die. I think Alzheimer's can be a little frightening for the sufferer, but it's mostly tough for the sufferer's family. Which, since they're not the ones dying, they should toughen up a little, I guess.



The big jt, the head bread. . . what's shakin', toasty-oasty?

12:50 AM

Blogger ginab said...

Nope. Rain washes away the fog, or at least this happens in fairy tails and nursery rhymes, which reminds me:

I'm a little teapot,
short and stout.
Here is my handle,
here is my spout.
When I get all steamed up,
hear me shout.
Just tip me over and
pour me out!

10:27 AM

Blogger ginab said...

tails ride the bushy rails.


sorry for junking this up if that's what I've done.

11:49 AM

Blogger josh williams said...

Ing the dishes spoke to me they said "ing read West With the Night" and then they said it again? Kinda freaked me out and I aint one that freaks at the drop of a dish...

2:13 PM

Blogger matty said...

Hey! I put up a new post!!! Where is yours, Missy???? LOL!!! I finally made you those CD's tonight!!!

Saturday night! Let's take over the city!!!! I am sure B and ScreenWriter will be up for it!!!

10:53 PM

Blogger Karyn said...

I'm feeling your angst. Too similar to where I'm at and where I've recently been. It sucks. It hurts. But I hope I don't let go by mistake.

7:18 AM

Blogger ing said...


Rain may wash away the fog, but my mind is as foggy as ever. Which is tolerable. I just wish that ol' rain would wash my car. What a pigsty!



Honeybabe, you class up the place. Get that junk notion out of your mind, immediately!



Y'know what they said to me? They said a certain Josh got his freak on, and they have exactly what it takes to serve that freak up. Yes, they did. No lie. Pouring it on with a ladle, they said. Freak stew.



Lemmings, yes? We will watch that movie about the lemmings who saved The White House by forming a baseball team and winning over the Middle East with their gumption? Yayyyyyyy!!!!

I'm sorry we missed that movie about the elderly lady.

My next posting. . . I'm sooo tired, Matty, I can't! Maybe on Sunday? Because I only clean my room for one reason. And that reason will be here tomorrow night and on Saturday, too. I won't be doing much blogging.



It sounds like you've got a good handle on the whole thing. Worry not!

11:14 PM

Blogger Polyman2 said...

It's all so sad sometimes,
all we have is things
(and memories)
to remember people by.

We have Mrs.P's grandmothers china also.

2:05 PM

Blogger matty said...

It is a good reason to not blog. And, I've pre-orderd the deluxe DVD edition of Mrs Palfrey for you!!!! We can watch it 2 or 3 times with commentary!!!!

3:08 PM

Blogger Metalchick said...

That is a nice set of china!

1:44 AM

Blogger ginab said...

Hey I had a dream and you were in it! You were serving me dinner, on one of your Danish plates! That's all I remember, but vivid: the plate.


8:42 AM

Blogger josh williams said...

"theys" dead on straight in the middle of the target. My peeps call me Freak Stew!

2:13 PM


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home