I remember this china from every family holiday and special occasion that we had from my earliest years onward. Finally in 2000, my mother gave it to me when she moved into a small apartment. That was when she told me the story of Ruby's china.
Grandma Ruby and her husband Rolla lived in Seattle after their marriage in 1914. They had one son, Theodore, born in 1915. Then my mother came along in 1921, born on Grandma Ruby's birthday.
It was a difficult and dangerous breech birth, an excruciatingly long labor. The doctors made the decision to let the birth occur naturally, but the results of their decision were harrowing. Both Ruby and my mother nearly died.
The china was a birthday present both for Ruby, and her newborn daughter: A celebration of their survival. Grandpa Rolla was so relieved and thankful that he went right out and bought it. Apparently Ruby had seen it in a store, and had expressed a longing for it, this beautiful china, but at the time Rolla had felt they couldn't afford it.
Sadly, most of the china was broken, over the years, as the family moved to San Francisco, and then in later years, back to Seattle. So I am happy to have the little bit that was handed down to me.
Grandma Ruby was the light of my life when I was a child, a time when there was a great deal of pain, sorrow & darkness in our family. She was beautiful in both face and spirit, the kindest of souls who never ceased to give love to everyone around her, whatever the circumstance. I never heard her disparage or judge anyone unkindly, in all the years I knew her. She was a remarkable woman.
My grandmother Ruby Bolton Brown Martine, with her son Ted, about 1916, Seattle WA.
Have a great day!