Ode on a Depletion of Urns

Over the weekend, we bought a beautiful bunch of Virginia-grown, forced tulips which were inexpensive and worth every penny for the joy they deliver.  Upon returning home, we began the search for a container in which to put the flowers, but once again, a familiar downsizing issue occurred – we moved all the vases to Chicago.

Last spring, in a hurry-up effort to jump through moving cost hoops, we completed Phase One of a doddering moving plan and transported a collection of furniture, things and stuff to Chicago from Richmond.  These items were duplicated or seldom used in Richmond but needed in the windy city.  I remember saying, “We’ll just go ahead and move it.  If we need it in Richmond, we’ll just make do with what we have here.  We won’t entertain here much anymore, but if we do, we’ll use the things we have left.  It will be just fine.”

Then I decided to host Thanksgiving 2011 in Richmond for my family.  I had daily discoveries of special occasion items – always used for holidays – that were moved or missing.  The dining room table, now in Chicago, was replaced with our old, beat up kitchen table that had spent some time in my son’s undergrad apartment.  My husband used bungee cords to connect an ancient card table to the old kitchen table to make room for the turkey day crew.  My son tried to adjust the tables on Thanksgiving morning, but I stopped him quickly shouting, “NO! It’s a Rube Goldberg house of cards.” Everything would collapse if he moved the furniture even a an inch.

No “good” china, no crystal stemware, not one tablecloth and no aprons in Richmond – all were moved to Chicago.  No problem.  We just used everyday dishes and time-etched glassware.  I have to confess that we bought a cheap tablecloth and a $4.99 Thanksgiving table runner at Kohl’s.  I put small bowls of candy corn going down the table runner. Thanks Ina Garten for the candy corn tip!  It was tasty and fun.  My husband was able to bring one of my aprons back from Chicago since he was there the week before Thanksgiving.  I am a whirling dervish kind of cook, and I need to wear an apron.  We used every spare chair in the house, and my sister brought a few folding chairs to make up for the lack of our dining room chairs.

Thanksgiving went well.  It seemed a bit like a “college” Thanksgiving from back in the day when we cobbled together a group dinner with whatever our friends could provide. Ironically, I have not done much entertaining in Chicago where our good stuff now resides.

What about the tulips and the lack of containers? No urns, no vases, no stoneware pitchers, no crocks or pretty glassware.  For a number of years, my father-in-law gave us a Calyx Flowers flower-of-the-month club subscription for Christmas, and because of this gift, we had enough vases to start a floral business.  When the downsizing began,  I donated a bunch of vases to charity, sent the good ones to Chicago, and forgot about a few that had been in the attic for a long time.  The current tulip problem was solved by a long lost glass vase discovery in the attic that I had missed.

The tulips are for Valentine’s Day.  Hope your day is filled with wild ecstasy, beauty and truth!

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