Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Simple Pleasures Gone Wrong?

They make me think of the pastel Fischer-Price toy kitchen dishes my kids
used to play with in the late 80's and early 90's!

It seemed like a great idea. 1950's colorful Melmac dishes for camping. How fun!

I'd been thinking recently about camping supplies. Our set of dishes has somehow ended up scattered here and there, mostly going missing, so last year when we went camping, we ended up taking the everyday dishes from our kitchen cupboards. That's fine, but they can break, and it's nice to have something meant specifically for camping and picnicking.

Then I got the idea to look in the antique warehouse for old 1950's unbreakable Melmac dishes. I was hoping to find a variety of colors, and I thought I'd start picking up cups, plates, and bowls as I could. I had no idea how much this would cost. Maybe it would be affordable, and maybe it wouldn't.

So, we stopped by the antique warehouse when we were in the neighborhood, and I headed straight back to the big room that has Pyrex, Melmac, and all sorts of other things. There were plenty of Melmac dishes there, but alot of them were sold in sets of four or eight, all of the same color. I did the best I could, picking up the smaller sets in different colors to give me something of a variety.

My grand total for five plates, four bowls, and eight cups was $17, costing me an average of $1 per item. That seemed great to me. They're fun. They're vintage. They're unbreakable. They're cheap!

And then I came home to see how much they cost online. A quick search showed some internet discussion on the possible dangers of these dishes, more specifically of the melamine in the dishes that contributes to their name-- Melmac. Kuwait has banished them! =:-O So far, they're the only country to do this, but still... Will I be contributing to our slow deaths by melamine poisoning if we eat off these dishes when we go camping or picnicking? :-)

Or should I shrug this off (me-- the all-natural, don't-use-plastic-or-toxic-anything person!) and just have fun camping? I mean we won't be eating off of the dishes that often! And they are kinda cute and fun.


The scene of the crime took place in this very patch of clover.

Remember the sweet bunnies I mentioned in this post that recalled Beatrix Potter to me?


On Sunday, I was sitting outdoors on the deck, doing nothing because it was Sunday. I was just sitting there. Thinking, looking, listening, enjoying the peace and quiet. As always, I felt blessed to be surrounded with such rejuvenating natural beauty. I was thinking of the lovely world God made. Simple pleasures, to be sure.

And as I sat there, I was suddenly startled by a very loud hissing and screeching just off to my right. I turned, and not 20 feet away, two of the "sweet little bunnies" were fighting fiercely. On hind legs, darting and jumping, dodging and attacking. Surprisingly ferocious. And then suddenly, off they ran in different directions.

And I thought of Annie Dillard at Tinker Creek and both the beauty and startling violence of nature. The "flawed nature of perfection," she says. Nature is lovely. It's a gift. But even creation is fallen and "waits in eager expectation... (to be) liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into... glorious freedom." (Romans 8)

Just like us. :-)