Red-Stemmed Goblets

Red-Stemmed Goblets

Red-Stemmed Goblets

“I saw those red stemmed goblets one day when I came into work at Hemphill Wells and I just had a fit over them!” (“Had a fit,” is Southern Belle slang for “I absolutely adored them, Dahling!”) My Belgian living room is cast in a soft glow from stained glass lamps. Frank Sinatra croons from our Pandora radio. With my phone tucked into my ear, I lean forward and grasp a heavy red goblet, swirl the French wine, and take a sip. I continue to jot down notes. “Did you ever actually, use the glasses, Grandma?” I cock my head

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Baker’s Rack

Baker’s Rack

You find out you’re moving to Europe – the dreams of touring famous museums, sipping wine along canals, stepping through streets lined by ancient architecture or (insert postcard perfect dream here) – are quickly pushed aside (at least after a few days of the approval) and the front-runner of your mind becomes. . . the mountain of administrational tasks before you. FBI background checks, medical exams, reissued birth certificates (as if anything had changed since the original documents were issued?) – I could go on, but I won’t in order to prevent an anxiety attack, except to say that the

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Crystal

Crystal

Thin and fragile, etched in white with a pattern of tiny edges running up and down the stem of the glass, I hold my Grandmother’s crystal in my hands. “They’re absolutely beautiful,” I tell my Grandma, “What did you say the pattern was?” “It was called Heather, by Fostoria,” she drawls into the phone, her West Texas accent is thick. “Fostoria,” I repeat, the word like air on my tongue. “Uh, huh, that’s right. I picked out the pattern – and my Mother or family would give me a plate or a champagne glass for Christmas or Mother’s Day. All

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Cake Dome

Cake Dome

Tulips, windmills, bicycles, and delft blue pottery – these are the icons of the Netherlands. My (then future husband) and I visited the Netherlands as a young couple over a decade ago. He was auditing a client in Rotterdam and I tagged along for the trip. As we kissed goodbye in the morning, I set-off like the fearless tourist I was. I found my way to the Rotterdam station and wandered with hesitation to a vendor. I picked out a freshly baked croissant and ordered a coffee so strong it made my eyes water. Armed with a few tourist books

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Handpainted China

Handpainted China

My grandma’s china cabinet stood in the corner of her tiny dining room my whole childhood. I think it’s a good guess that it might have been the only piece of furniture in her home that never moved. It contained white china plates with gold rims I always coveted and pretty tea cups with green background and pink roses. It wasn’t until years later I realized that all the pieces actually matched – the scalloped gold rims on the teacups matched the rimmed white china plates and teapot – my grandma had painted them, a tiny ‘Willaphene’ signed on a

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About Willaphene

About Willaphene

Depression glass, silk flowers, a screened back porch door that slammed if you weren’t careful, wintergreen gum tucked into the drawer of an apothecary cabinet, black and white photos of my grandfather with the faintest hint of red lipstick on the glass, tiny bottles of perfume on a mirrored tray, a bass bed so high off the ground a child would have to run and hurdle to get into it, plates of fudge, handpainted china in a glass cabinet, crystal bowls of sugared candy on marble top cabinets, a hand-carved white shelf above the tub that I’d always bonk my

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