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My brother Allen enlisted in the Navy several years after World War II, and his ship made ocean voyages back and forth to Japan.
One day he asked me if I would like a set of China dishes, as he could secure a nice set in Japan for a reasonable price.
My dishes were an ugly Melmac, and a set of china for company would be very nice, so I gave him some money and explained my preference.
“I would like a simple pattern, with a gold or silver trim.” Perhaps I should have drawn a picture.
Before too long, my brother returned with a full set of china dishes for me. There was service for 12, including large soup bowls and smaller desert dishes. Also there were several serving bowls, a gravy boat, a covered serving dish, two sizes of platters, butter dish, sugar and creamer, and a tall tea pot.
You would have thought I should be happy with my new set? But truthfully the set was far from simple. It was bold orange and gold with large Japanese designs covering the entire plates.
Rather than show my disappointment, I thanked my brother for all his trouble and told him, “This is great.” (And it was in a sense ;) so much, and so different, and so nice too.
My husband told me to enjoy it for what it was - - all the way from Japan - - something unusual, and ornate and it would be a conversation piece each time we used it.
I changed my attitude and decided to love my new china dishes. Those beautiful dishes were used for many years, until our daughter was stationed in Korea. While there she was able to secure for me a set of white china with a silver trim.
Now that set of White China dishes is stored in our shed, but that is a different story.
One day, our church had a yard sale, and I decided to donate my orange ornate dishes. I stipulated to first give the newly wed Mexican couple first choice. If she liked them they were free to her.
The bride was ecstatic with joy. She loved the design and how many of every thing there was. Apparently orange was her favorite color.
All my life I was taught to, “Make do,” and these orange dishes were NO exception. However I made an adjustment in my attitude and learned to enjoy them.
The secret is learning to be content and happy with what you have regardless.