Friday, June 5, 2009

Using the good China

Years ago I remember an inspirational speaker on NPR talking with great humor about her mother and her habit of saving the "good stuff" for later or guests. She kept a beautiful set of china well polished and cherished in a separate cupboard which was rarely if ever used, and reserved for very special occasions and important guests. After her mother died, the speaker was dissolving her mothers possessions and came upon the "Good China" in perfect condition and began to pack it away. "Wait a minute" she thought, life is too short...USE the good China.


What a motto to live by. Yes, life is too short. Eat the melon when it is ripe, pick the daisy, suck the marrow out of life. Use the good China.

I am an orphan, and have lost both parents in recent years, and in dissolving first the family home, then Mom's possessions, and then finally Dad's possessions I came across that saving mentality again and again. Both parents were of the depression generation, so they saved everything. I mean EVERYTHING. This is a generational trait but got out of hand. Some of the most treasured objects were rarely if ever used. They were too good to be used. So they never got the joy of actually using the good China.

Recently when going through my reels I came across a 31/2 " Hardy Bougle' MK IV. I had put it away years ago because I did not want to get it nicked or scratched. There it sat with no line on it, much like Dad's rifles that were never shot and hand built rods that were never fished. I pulled out a little backing and listened to the pleasant click as the reel happily sang a tune. Then I had an epiphany. I have boxes full of precious spey and dee flies that I dare not fish. Why? Why not? What am I saving them for? Why not use the good China? Why save all the treasured possessions so that when I am old and gray and full of sleep I can look back on memories that were missed, but treasure an unscratched reel or a fly that never was tested or swam?


Use the good China. Tempus Fugit. Ars Longa Vitae Brevis!

Spool up that Bougle' laddie... the river is a callin!


  1. Spot on! It's great to hear you've realized this. The hard part is actually living it! Not just with "things", but with life.

  2. Totally agree. The concept of something too good to be used baffles me.


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