Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pass it On

On March 31, 2011 we found out that we were expecting a baby girl.  I didn't think I'd care, boy or girl, just healthy.  You know the line.  I even thought that maybe I'd prefer another boy to add to our very boy household.  But "it" was a she.  A girl.  My girl.  And something inside me changed - other than my blood pressure, which is a story for another day.

I had been crafting for sometime, sewing curtains, stockings, pajama pants, learning embroidery, etc, but suddenly I wanted to craft ALL the time and for everyone.  I wanted EVERYTHING to be homemade.  I also started reflecting on how quickly time was passing with our boys and how things you think swear you'll never forget become foggy at best.  It occurred to me that I was trying to make the memories more concrete by associating them with items that my children could pass on to their children and recall all of the fun times they had with them as a child.

Then one day I woke up and decided I wanted fine china.  Seriously?  Fine china?  Me?  I told my hubby and his reaction was very much the same.  But I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I wanted china to pass on to my daughter and with it all the memories of important meals, holidays and all the silly, serious, sad and loving conversations had during those meals.  I had never wanted china, ever.  I'm casual to a fault, but knowing that it was a little girl making herself at home in my uterus made me yearn for beautiful china to pass on to her.

But there's a catch.  I didn't want just any china.  You see, I grew up in a suburb of Syracuse, NY - home of Syracuse China.  I own and have owned many of their casual pieces and enjoyed shopping at their outlet store at the factory in Syracuse.  Since I'm far from my roots I thought it would be perfect to pass along a little piece of my history as well as world history (or at least Syracuse history).  You see, on Monday, April 6, 2009, after 138 years in operation, Syracuse China manufactured it's last piece in Syracuse and closed the factory.  The company, originally called Onondaga Pottery Co. when it was founded it 1871 would now be another part of Syracuse's industrial history and I wanted it to be part of mine as well.

I searched high and low for six months or so.  I had my Aunt, a professional yard saler by day and ER nurse by night, searching all summer long.  I was stalking keeping tabs on ebay and craigslist, but wasn't finding the perfect thing.  So as it turns out the girl who never wanted fine china was now a Syracuse China snob - but with good reason.  I didn't want a dated pattern that my daughter would never want to use or at least display.  I wanted something simple and timeless.  Oh, and since the factory closed price was becoming a factor.  People were asking a lot for their no-longer-available-for-retail-sale treasured china.

Then I found it.  On craigslist listed for $100 was a complete set of fine Syracuse China, service for 8 with several serving pieces.  My mom kindly agreed to go pick it up for me but when she got there the woman couldn't find it all - major bummer.  We spoke on the phone and she promised to keep looking and get in touch when she found it.  Fat chance, I thought  So imagine my complete amazement when my mom called to let me know that the missing china had been located and I was now the proud owner of  Syracuse China pattern Polaris!  Sorry for losing faith.  And here is my beautiful legacy china.

Can't you just see a turquoise or yellow plate thrown into the mix? Or a fun black and white or modern floral?  I love the versatility of this set!  And the seller packed it up so nicely so it would survive the trip from NY to NC.  Hopefully I'll actually have the guts to eat on it as the kids get a bit older.  What material things do you plan to pass on to your children?


  1. This is just lovely! So glad you were able to track it down. So very Rachel. :-)

  2. This made me tear up a bit. We finally decided to try for a second child next year & I'm hoping for a girl for this very reason. I have my mother's cedar hope chest full (literally busting at the seams) of treasures from my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. I can't wait to pass our history to the next generation. So glad you found a treasure to give your little girl.

    1. Awww, thanks. Congratulations on the decision to expand your family. I don't have a lot from my grandparents or my parents and I think that's part of my strong desire to pass on special things to my kids.