Tea Cups and Bells

By Joan Stewart Roselle

[This is a lovely story to go with the heirlooms that Joan passes on to her granddaughters. Without the story, so much can be lost.]

Every family has certain traditions. My family looked forward to Dad’s vacation each summer. We would drive to Toronto to visit the “Canadian Folks.” They included my Dad’s Uncle Bob, Aunt Agnes, Cousin Archie, Jim, and “wee” Bob. He was “wee Bob” to us even when he died in his 80s. Excitement grew as we prepared for our week’s trip. We would stay at cabins along the way and stop to see Niagara Falls. There was a hitch one year when my suitcase was left on the kitchen floor in NJ. I did get new clothes but I remember wearing “wee Bob’s” tuxedo jacket on cool nights.

Joan Stewart

In Canada we would visit relatives, go to baseball games, amusement parks, and movies where they always played “God Save the King,” which we thought was really “America.” The highlight of the trip was a shopping adventure to Eatons (I think that was the name). It was a very upscale department store. My sister and I would select a tea cup as our souvenir. The cups were made of English bone china made from the finest houses of England, such as Royal Albert, Royal Dalton, Royal Stafford. They varied in size, color, flowers, trim, and handles. As aging has approached, I decided to gift my granddaughter, Savannah, with the cups.

I have been a hand bell ringer in our Church for many years. My husband surprised me by enrolling me in a china bell club. Every few months I received a beautiful china bell. These bells came from the most prominent bone china factories all over the world. I gifted my other granddaughter, Olivia with these bells. Each Christmas the girls receive a tea cup and a bell as a remembrance of Grandma. I hope they will treasure them and get as much joy from them as I did and think of me, perhaps.

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