Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saying Goodbye.

I am half Portuguese. This fact is not relevant to this story until later on, but try to keep it in mind.

When I first moved into a real apartment and out of my moms house, I spent a whole summer collecting all the things I would need. Dishes, furniture, housewares. I scoured thrift shops, flea markets, clearance racks and dollar stores. Slowly I worked until I had everything I would need to start my new life. Some things were life necessities, like dishes and towels. Others were extras, curtains, art, and decor.

The very first thing I found though was this.





There is a story to this dish. Its a good one I promise.
In my hometown, on the undeveloped stretch of highway one between downtown Fredericksburg and Woodford [where my mothers lives], is a flea market. It is a true flea market, most likely sporting real fleas. The peddlers are dodgy the goods are dusty and there is hardly an item to be found over $50. My dad used to take us here once in a while on a Sunday. I learned my thrifty ways from my dad by the way. He learned to be thrifty in a hard way and I suppose I might explain that someday, but not today.
Well this was my first trip out in search of things for my new home. All the thrift stores are further into town and so the flea market was the logical first stop.

I wandered around the entire place, looking closely over every table, at every booth and in every creepy motel room turned store front.

I was about to head home empty handed when I walked through one stall that I had avoided before because the owner gave me the skeevies. Within a moment I spotted a filthy dish filled with screws, nuts, bolts and some tiny draw handles. It had a piece of crinkled paper on it that said $.50 a handful. For some reason I really wanted this dish, so much so that I built up the courage and asked the skeevy owner if he would sell it to me.
He said "sure, how bout five dollars" and immediately dumped the contents into another random bowl. I was feeling all tough now, so I said "how about $3?" and the deal was made.

I gave him the cash and he gave me the dish. This was when I decided to look it over [I know that's what you are supposed to do BEFORE you buy], most of it was covered in grime but then I saw the bottom.



I knew there was a reason I wanted this dish. This would be the first in a collection of Portuguese stoneware I have collected over the years. I have found pieces in the most unlikely places all over the state and I like the idea that these things come from the same place my big nose and dark hair come from.

When I started this post, my dish was in the trash. You can see the major crack in it I am sure. I cant use it to bake my favorite meals anymore and so it was time to let go. But I just cant to it. I took it out of the garbage and carefully cleaned it one more time. I know that I am silly and weak but I really just can't give it up just yet.

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