Bad Golf, Good Dishes

Actually, it was an injured arm that lead to the pursuit of more dishes for my lovely bride. I wanted to golf at a course in Canton, TX, home of the First Monday’s Trade Days (the largest flea market this side of the Mississippi). It’s also home to the Canton Dish Barn. For those who are into Fiesta Dinnerware, the Canton Dish Barn is the place to shop.

My wife and I appreciate Fiesta Ware. We like the color. We like the solid feel of the plates. We like the way the plates keep our food off the table, as plates are designed to do. Yes, the simplicity of the plates and the bright colors remind me of… kindergarten, when things were simpler. No confusing patterns. Just simply, color, roundness of plates, and thickness, giving a senses of durability.

When we got married, we registered for four sets of the plates, but chose the super-duper simplicity of “white.” We got four sets. All white. We like white. But we also like a dash of color and it has been our intention all along to add color with the white. But… we never managed to pull it off.

Then came our anniversary. I wanted to surprise Heidi Ann with some plates of color. You know, add some diversity. Be less narrow. Brighten our lives. All the things that cultural elites are calling us to do. So I contacted a friend who is THE expert in all things Fiesta Dinnerware. She loves the plates and has hundreds of them. In fact, her father will go to the Canton Dish Barn just to pick up a plate or two for any occasion. This is why her collection of plates numbers in the thousands, nay, millions. She has more plates than the White House, more than the Queen of England, even more than Martha Stewart (hyperbole alert!). Therefore, I felt it necessary to contact here about finding the best deal on plates. She led me to the Canton Dish Barn.

Back to golf. I was planning on golfing on Monday the 17th of April, 2017, Year of Our LORD. Yet on Friday, also known as Good Friday to many around the world, I went to the golf course where I wanted to play so that I could drive some golf balls and check out the course. I was off both Friday and Monday. Not for religious reasons, mind you! But because my district has two “inclement weather” days which we celebrated on those two days.

But then… the unthinkable. I was on the questionable driving range of a beautiful golf course with three buckets of golf balls, honing my nearly perfect swing (as long as I’m not aiming for any known target). And just like that, my forearm had a sharp pain running through it. The left forearm. As any right-handed golfer would tell you, this is not good. A right-handed golfer needs his left forearm to swing the club. That is where the power and control come from. I couldn’t make my follow through. AS soon as I got to the downward portion of the arch, I lost all power and control. It hurt too much. I ended up leaving 2 1/2 bucket of expensive golf balls behind. I couldn’t swing the club. It was an injury that would prevent me from playing on Monday.

Suddenly, the money I had set aside for golf was no longer going to that purpose. A gem of an idea took root. I knew the Canton Dish Barn was on my way home, so I decided to stop and get a few plates for my lovely wife. It would be a wonderful surprise and help ease the disappointment of missing out on my spring golf adventure.

Given my budget, I knew I could only get a few plates when I entered. Then I remembered something I heard a talk-show host talk about. He said he never bought things off the floor and always asked about the factory seconds. I did so and found that the Canton Dish Barn has more plates in their factory seconds department than up front in their main showroom (showroom is used loosely). I found 8 plates that fit within my budget! That would be more than enough.

I couldn’t wait to surprise Heidi. I had to pick her up from Starbucks since I had her car. I figured I would let her help me carry the box of plates inside the house. I also wondered what she would do with the Blue Willow plates that I had when we got married. We kept those plates out of necessity since we only had four “white only” dinner plates from our wedding gifts. Believe it  or not, sometimes we have more than four people over for dinner.

“What this?” she asked as I handed the box to her. “Just something I picked up for you. I made an unscheduled stop.”

She took the plates into the kitchen while I unpacked my golf clubs from the car. No sooner than I did that, not even hearing what she said about my selection of colors, did I see her with the box heading for the curb with those Willow Plates. I asked, “you don’t want to give them to someone or sell them?” “Nope!” She wanted those plates GONE! I couldn’t help but chuckle. Apparently her dislike for the plates was a bit more than my dislike of the plates.

Two of the new plates were not to our liking, so we went back and exchanged them for more appropriate colors and added two-decent bowls to our collection. Even though the plates do have some obvious flaws, we are much happier with the 8 we got at a discount, than we would have been with the 2 we could have bought at full price. We certainly don’t need any more Fiesta Dinnerware plates. The cupboard is full in that regard.

As for those Blue Willow plates on the side of the road? Later that day I was cutting the front yard and kept watching car after car drive right by the box. I decided to take a plate out, and show it to the next driver that came by. I did. There is now some Hispanic lady with a 3 year old who has a full set of Blue Willow dinner plates.


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