Nostalgic Desert Rose Pattern Evokes Memories for Multiple Generations

My mom passed away in 2020. She cooked dinner for our family every night growing up - with the exception of Saturday night when we got our weekly pizza delivery. It didn't matter what we were having to eat that night - chicken and dumplings, salmon patties, pork roast, tacos, liver and onions - we always had a beautifully set table with pretty dishes, fancy goblets, cloth napkins, candles, a decorative centerpiece and usually some kind of plant or fresh or dried flowers.

Many years ago, when my kids were young, mom gave me a set of dishes we ate off of daily for several years when we were kids. They're a pretty blue pattern with flowers. I adore them and used them on all our special occasions for years.

At one point when my parents moved, a box of additional dishes got sent to my sister's. When she moved, they went to my brother's and then into my garage. It had never been opened.

About a year-an-a-half after mom had passed away, I had moved and was slowly unpacking boxes and going through things accumulated over 30 years in our home. I finally opened that box of dishes. In there was another set of dishes we had used often for our family dinners - some cobalt blue depression glass dinner, salad and dessert plates and a couple other individual pieces. There were also a handful of other random plates, platters and a teapot. One of the platters had pretty pink flowers and I loved it. It unfortunately had a little chip, but I fell in love with it and would use it whenever I was putting out some appetizers for the family.

The following year, I went to visit my Aunt Lori, who is the last remaining one of my mom's six siblings and spouses. My aunt planned some shopping and dining for us to do while I was there, which included antique shopping. It was such a fun experience. Antique shopping was something my mom loved and it made me feel like she was right there with us.

My aunt really knows her antiques. She and my uncle had a booth at an antique mall at one time. As we walked through, I noticed a platter just like that one that had belonged to mom with the pretty pink flowers and commented on it. My aunt immediately said, "Oh, that's Desert Rose. Your grandma always wanted some of those dishes, but could never afford them."

As we continued walking through the mall, I saw several pieces of the dishes. After hearing her story, I knew I had to buy a few. I knew they'd remind me of the grandma I barely knew, her and my mom all in one.

I posted the purchase on Facebook and the post went viral with over 66K likes, over 10K comments and 2.5K shares. It turned out that this Franciscan pattern first manufactured in the 1940s was the most popular design for dishes in history and that it made its way onto very many tables in the 40s, 50s and beyond. Someone who saw the post even sent me a little coffee creamer to go with it, which was so sweet. I use it often as a little bud vase.

I used the plates on Easter this year and continue to pull them out and use them once in a while. And every time I do, they make me smile.