my old country house

MY FIESTA WARE

(the other day, a reader mentioned  having enjoyed my blog-post about our dishes –  I thought It would be fun to share the story with you –  – again) 

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You may have noticed in my recent Kitchen Post

 ….the mismatched colorful dishes in my cabinet. That is my FIESTA WARE.

MY Fiesta Ware and I go way, WAY back. 

My colorful dishes date long before I became “Lesli DeVito” and acquired the honor of being Tate, Phoebe and Cooper’s Mom. I have used my Fiesta Ware dishes for over 30 years.

They are indestructible. kitchen counter tops

Thirty years ago…I was living in New York City…trying very hard to be an Actress but spending most of my days…and nights….waiting tables and catering. In the blink of an epiphany I decided to leave NYC, and I returned to school and began my studies to Become a Nurse Practitioner. I had not taken a test in years and a science class in longer.

Our first test was in a class called “Pathophysiology”. Patho means “suffering,” “disease,”“feeling,” and combined with Physiology which is a study of the living body …Pathophysiology is the study of when things go wrong with the body.

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They warned us that our first test would be impossibly hard. I studied for hours …. Days and hours – longer than I had studied for any test in my life…I was paying for college this time and I was not going to waste one cent. I participated in study-groups, wrote note cards and made tape recordings of  myself explaining the material to myself…ALL in trying to optimize my studies. I sat on the front row to insure that I would catch every word of the professors lectures…WHICH often sounded like Russian to me…and I wrote down every SINGLE thing he said.

The test was hard…but I felt ready. I knew that I had not Aced it, but I was confident that my hard work had paid off…I was actually excited as the Professor began distributing the grade tests. He laid our graded tests face down on our desks for us to flip over. I slowly turned mine over and my heart sank. 67. 67. I made a 67.

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A fat tear hit my graded test and I was embarrassed at how upset a stupid grade had made me. I studied harder than I had for any other test in my life and I had failed. It was official. The Gig was up! There was NO-Way I would be able to pull this “actress – turns – Nurse” thing OFF…I was doomed.

I went home that day and as any adult child would do…I called my MOM. Through my sobs I told her how hard I had worked and that I had still failed. She listened and listened and then encouraged me and told me that it would get easier.  “When I was in Nursing school, I had some stumbles too…It will get easier…and I am so proud of you for trying…”

I was still pretty sure I was stupid but my load had been lightened. I thanked my Mom and I went on with my life.

kitchen cabinets fiesta

Three days later a HUGE box arrived. I had to get my then-neighbor…now-husband of almost 24 years… to help me carry the ten-ton box up to my second floor apartment. I opened the box and there as a note from my Mom.

“I was saving this for Christmas…but thought you could use some cheering up NOW.

Enjoy..for all the years and meals to come.

I love you, Mom” .

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My sweet sweet Mom had sent me 6 full place settings of FIESTA WARE….and that is how I got my dishes.

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With LOTS AND LOTS of tenacity and hard work I was able to pull off a “C” in Pathophysiology!

Over the years colors and kids have been added… and I have made the leap from Nurse Practitioner to Mom to Artist…and all along the way..my colorful dishes have served me well. Get it????

Served me!

There have been a few times when just for the sake of change – I have gotten “new dishes” nice dishes, good dishes, and invariably – they have chipped or broken and we go back to the indestructible Fiesta-Ware. Once, my husband and I gave ourselves “permission” to work out our frustrations by breaking some plates and the Fiesta Ware Just bounced! To break it we literally had to throw it hard on our cement driveway and even THAT still it took a few tries.

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And here is the thing that I love the most – my Kids have grown up with the Fiesta-ware dishes. Every meal, every bowl of ice cream or cereal or Daddy’s chili, has been eaten out of a pink, jade, yellow, green, coral or aqua bowl. And someday, when they are having a rough patch – which we all do – and I am ready to say goodbye to my dishes – they just might get a heavy box in the mail. And they might to need to ask their neighbor to help them carry it upstairs.

And life will go on.

Do you have  something that has followed you through the passages of your life? A cookbook of your Moms? Linens of your Grandmother’s?

Your Dad’s tools?

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Hope you have had a good week! We had a wonderful snow storm yesterday that stopped life and made things quiet and beautiful.

Go HERE to buy you very own FIESTA WARE!

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4 thoughts on “MY FIESTA WARE

  1. What a great story! I, too, grew up on the original Fiestaware and it is very special because of all the memories and the love I feel when using it. I don’t use mine every day anymore, but bring it out for special occasions quite often. Amazing how much in common we seem to have.

  2. Love your Fiesta story!!! I began collecting (and using) vintage Fiesta about the time your ten-ton box arrived. Color makes me happy and it’s always a fun choice to see which color I’ll use for dinner. While the plates (vintage at least) will scratch over time, rotation helps and you’re right – they just do not break! Unfortunately, they don’t “microwave” well, but we’ve learned to make accommodations. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I, too, love and collect Fiestaware. I began when I was a new bride and my then husband was away at basic training. An older friend asked if I would like to “junking” with her at the weekend. I found what turned out to be a #6 cobalt mixing bowl from the original Fiesta line. I was hooked! My children now own and love Fiesta in their own homes. In fact, my middle son studied tabletop design while in art school. My husband swears it was the influence of growing up with Fiesta! Loved this post!

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