A couple of years ago, I overheard a conversation between my sister-in-law, Kris, and my wife, Jeanne. They were talking about china patterns.
Jeanne had discovered and purchased a small sugar bowl at an antique store. It had the same pattern as a teacup that she had in the cupboard, which had been her mother’s. When Jeanne talked about this most serendipitous find, how that all came down, her voice quivered a bit. I took note of this.
Late that night, I inspected the tiny bowl. On the bottom was printed “Royal Albert Bone China, England,” “Blossom Time,” and the number 799933. When I searched online, I discovered that the pattern was no longer being manufactured. However, fortunately, there was an online store that had ample supply of gently used pieces, and eBay proved to be another good resource. This led to a string of purchases for my wife’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, Christmas, and a lot of “just because.”
I am usually the one who does the dishes in our family. A few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but notice that our everyday silverware was no longer very silver. In fact, some pieces were greying. They were a part of our Wedding Registry some thirty-five years ago.
Unlike the china, the brand and pattern names were absent. All I had to go on was the image of the pattern.
Fortunately, I did recall that the manufacturer was Oneida. I took a picture of the pattern on the handle of a fork and searched online using Google Images for “discontinued Oneida silverware.” I came up empty.
So, I then tried “Oneida silverware.” After scanning another lengthy batch of photos, I finally hit paydirt. The pattern was called “Dover,” which did ring a bell. I ordered some.
When we received the new pieces, we were shocked. There was a drastic difference in their weight. The 35-year-old silverware was featherlike compared to the brand new solid-feeling pieces we had just received. I was so thankful the pattern was still being produced after all these years.
Sometimes our faith may be worn thin by life’s trials and tribulations. It is wonderful to know that renewal can still happen when such appears to be completely against the odds. If this speaks to your situation, I pray you may find just the right resource to begin such a process.
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for 30 years.