When I was a teenager...barely 13, Publix was selling china. You bought so much in groceries, got a stamp for so many dollars spent, and you bought pieces of china with the completed stamp booklets. My mom and I were in Publix the day the display went up and I fell in love with Johann Haviland Blue Garland. We shopped regularly at Publix, so I began the collection process. I worked dilligently and even got friends who were not wanting to buy the china to get stamps for me. At the end of the selling period I had a complete service for 12. For years the china sat untouched in boxes and then...in 1976...I got married. I did what every young bride is supposed to do, went to the jewelry store(at the time that was pretty much your only choice...Bed, Bath and Beyond was nonexistant)to pick out my silver, crystal,everyday and special china patterns. All of my friends had chosen Spode, Mikasa, you know...the fine bone china...but when I got to the jewelry store...there was nothing I wanted. I love heirlooms....so I wanted my mom's silver (which I now have...complete with wooden case), I wanted Corelle everyday (because I am practical and had an instant family with two children under the age of 5), I wanted Libby glasses from Big K(in case the kids broke them). The jewelry store lady and my friends were frustrated with me because I did not want to pick out expensive china. I tried to make them all understand that I did not need the stuff...packed in boxes I had service for 12 of the prettiest stuff ever...the Blue Garland.
Over the years I have added silver chargers and replaced a sugar dish that was broken in a move...but 40+ years later...the Blue Garland is STILL my most prized possession....all 12 place settings, including the drink coasters.
There is a gravy boat, a soup tureen, salt and pepper shaker, sugar creamer, two serving bowls, 3 platters, coffee server,and a tiered serving piece. I have the old school Blue Garland....mine has the footed cups with the saucers. That is just what I wanted ...for some reason I had it in my head that I would be serving high tea or coffee to my lady friends during the day. Trust me...that was not going to happen in the town I moved to when I married. Heck...it was not going to happen in my life...period. Yet, as a stay at home mom....every now and then...I would put on a pot of coffee....take out the Blue Garland cup and saucer, sit at the dining room table and dream.
The Blue Garland has been used many times over the years. My kids loved to see the table set with it. To them it meant company was coming, it was one of their birthdays, or they were getting a special treat. Mid-Atlantic Martha blogged about Blue Garland last week...and it made me want to do the same....so I set up a table in my dining room (which we never use, since there is only the two of us)...and photographed my prize. Do you have a prized possession? What makes it your special thing? My story is simple...a young teenager...who loved collecting stamps...bought some grocery store china...and because she worked so hard to get it...placed value on it. I am 55 years old for a few more weeks...and still love the Blue Garland. I could have changed it for something else many times over...but I don't want to. Oh, and by the way...I still have Corelle everyday dishes...you just can't break the things....and I currently own 6 Waterford goblets I bought in Ireland at the Waterford factory...6 more to go and I will have enough to set a complete table for 12....sigh...dream on! I love setting tables...I should work for Martha Stewart.
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
10 months ago