"A Perpetual Punctual Ponderance"
(From the home of the woman with breast cancer and her Wicker Dale china ) go
Up the street to its head.
Go down one block
To the big white house
On the left to
“Every” (Evangeline) Maples’ home
It is right there.
One goes in (enters) through the front door
At the top of front steps
That face the street
After knocking on that door
Using the door’s original
Solid brass American Federal
Door knock... er. Always.
Every was, at least, twenty years older than the woman with the breast cancer and the Wicker Dale china. And... very poised... Every was at being that. To herself. To her friends. To the neighbors. To the community. To me. I did not ever trespass but, oddly, enjoyed an open invitation “to knock”. In the community I was dressed for having this open invitation with flatulent oratory that included “HOW CAN YOU (stand her)”, “SHE IS A BITCH” and “SHE HATES EVERYONE”. And endless more... flatulent oratory. That was all it was too; ‘flatulent oratory’.
I was ‘in’ because I knocked? Naturally... but with a healthy dose of ‘the antiques bug”. As Every called her ...it was not a hobby. “Naturally”... considering Every’s community poise. Antiques defined by Every was... and this never a spoken title... American Federal... “good taste”. Only. Bric-brac, Victorian, pillow glass... the French and Indian Wars (Colonial Wars), Chippendale, John Singleton Copley (colonial painter) were shouted down as “not being” American Art by Every’s sure grasp of American ... Federal... Fireplace... accessories. Her grasp was both mental and physical. She... I fully understood, could... and would if necessary... kill me with an American Federal handmade wrought iron and steel bladed ...ash shovel... ‘with brass handle’. No one ventured “toward” Every. Even during the last Indian raid on the village... a raid of legend only... no “Indian” “tomahawked” the front door of Every’s home... “down” (That last; the door chopping, comes from the primary and flawed ‘Deerfield Raid’s Indian Door’ legend ... the New England... taste maker. It is.
So the reason I bring her into this ‘Wicker Dale’... is for two reasons. Every had (she IS dead now) very concise feelings about what is good taste in china in, well... New England and... she, after discerning, studying, ruminating and... postulating... became ‘very jealous’ (my title) of ‘Wicker Dale’... “china”. And poked this... that... herself so as to be helpful to my essay for, at the least, Every ‘never shut-up’ about this (Wicker Dale).
So I’d go in the front door on what was expected to be a... clear and concise... American Federal antiques... business... ‘visit’. After that entrance... with the front door closed behind me... ‘things softened’; that subject restriction became a... ‘lightly’. Don’t worry; Every was not one to take her clothes off and jump on one. No. American Federal; a gilt gold eagle reigned but I as a guest antiquarian... was “privileged”.
 : The best read to define this gilt gold American (New England) Federal? I feel the “introductory” essay of “The Custom-House”; the first fifty-two pages of the ...New England classic THE SCARLET LETTER by Nathanial Hawthorne does this task best. Never... ever consider this “introductory” to not be a fundamental part of the novel but also understand that applied here to Every’s home and china, it ‘explains that all’ (New England Coastal Federalism).
What that means is that somewhere along the line Every had decided that I probably did... as I appeared to did... know considerably more ‘about antiques’ than she did. This took care of the ‘all that’ the any others (visiting villagers) had to endures. So we always got along fine... especially if I was gracious enough to understand that most probably Every was ‘not going to buy anything’. Ever. She...: “MY FAMILY” of ...American Federal merchant men who ...long, long, long ago a “fortune” “MADE”... and... for me to always understand... filled this Federal mansion full of “all the antiques I need”. For us in this essay this bring us to ...observing that Every ‘married in’ to ‘this’? Or she married ‘out’ to “stabilize”? Both, actually. She and He were BOTH an old... New England... American Federal... so their marriage formed a... corporate merger. A ‘merger’ to ‘stabilize’ “what is left”.
If you understand what I mean.
So that brings us to her china. Every actually... and always... offered food to me. I remind I arrived unannounced... but she did always “have something try these” “made them”. I tried not to hear that last too clearly. Keep the crumbs to a minimal was the true test of her ...brittle... old... sugar... “cookies”... she called them. “WADDING FOR HER CANNONS” and “muzzleloaders” I’ve heard those cookies called... out loud at public holiday fairs in the village. So they’d come out to me on a plate. There we go: come out on a CHINA plate. Every’s CHINA plate.
It took a few paragraphs but now we, before our eyes, have a china plate and... Every holding it. I couldn’t help but notice. That IS what I do. So of course we talked about ‘it’ and then ‘her china’ and... the rest of ‘china’ in the home... on the street. In the village. In the state. IN NEW ENGLAND. Outside of New England. Around the world. And in England. That last keeps ‘order’ to ALL of this (china).
Every’s plate was, too, relatively new “marriage” china. It was too, part of her “SET” of Copeland Spode... “I PICKED OUT” “India Tree” pattern. American Federal clearance approved? Yes. Going backward: American Merchant Class. Men. American Federal urban ...northeast coastal seaport... trade... China trade... “fortune”... dock side “imported” china... English blockade... War of 1812... Men. Barrels of molasses full of ‘dinner service’. China? NO.... ENGLAND. Proper... dining service. Brilliant color. Fancy but ‘severe’ pattern. EAST INDIA COMPANY. Asia. Pacific Ocean. MEN. SHIPS. MONEY. “A fortune”. So Every... from her world of mental American Federalism... picked, properly, “India Tree”. Hold the plate up and look at it... in her dining room. IN her American Federal mansion. She did just fine.
“Soon” or “somehow”... Every ‘heard of’ “Wicker Dale”. “IS a PATTERN TOO?” she “didn’t KNOW”. That. “Them” “Well” “She died you know. Breast cancer you know”.
“Well I’ve always liked the pattern.” I qualified.
“It is...” and Every did not say.
Then a visit or so later she mentions Wicker Dale and her... dinner plates. “I DON’T SEE... well... MY PLATES are Counting House” (Northeastern New England coastal urban merchant men accounting room offices by the docks) china. “Pattern”. “SHE” (of breast cancer and Wicker Dale)... “hers... has a little FARMING POTATOES to it”. She said. As a critical summation of ...her discernment... of taste... of New England home contemporary service ‘china’.
There we go; here is a little PACKAGE for the eye. Did not Every do justice? I’m not sure of her ‘potato’ but she catches the New England farm; its ragged weeds of Queen Anne’s Lace and milkweed pods bursting. The Chicory blue and Indian’s Paint Brush... rusty red. The twine.. vine... bramble. Such a long way from a ‘counting room’ on the second floor. And the third floors too. Stodgy... stuffy counting rooms... of merchant men at trade.
Wicker Dale bothered Every. I know that because it was she that was always bringing it (the subject of Wicker Dale... pattern... of ‘Copeland Spode’) “UP”. She’d been fine... American Federal Fine... until she discovered Wicker Dale. The pattern actually ‘caught her eye’. She liked it? She liked it: “Does someone else KNOW what they are DOING?”. Every; “That old bitch”, found a little bit of herself that she never let out... in Wicker Dale.
“She died standing up.” Every said about the woman with breast cancer and the Wicker Dale ‘service’. That is a very high Yankee commendation particularly when said from one Yankee woman about another Yankee women. Yankee men say it ... and do it.. all the time; “die standing up”. Yankee women ... to a Yankee woman. Think about it when going around the New England village. It doesn’t happen.
Every died standing up too. That was never in question. “Of course she did”.
“What happened to her china?”
The breast cancer woman with the Wicker Dale pattern china... I’ve never seen her china again... almost. The home of the Wicker Dale coffee service... has kept its door closed ‘ever since’. The husband “lives there”. He did not re-marry. The children ‘grew up’ and ‘are around’. Let’s see... how many years has it been? When I look toward the house when I drive by I... always expect to see the top of the Wicker Dale coffee pot in the window. That has never happened. That is, almost, where this Wicker Dale china ‘stands’.
Every’s India Tree china, too, has ‘domestic lockdown’ as its status? “MUST.” I am able to ...garner. No waiting around the front door for that home to open. It will not happen (the front door will not open). Even if I knock. Somewhere... in there...: It is (Every’s India Tree pattern china) ...in there. Too.
Both homes... with both ‘service’ china sets... all closed up... on the village streets.. remain a perpetual punctual ponderance that ...purely... define ‘good taste’ ‘of china. In New England.
I will, now, tighten this up a little bit and then leave the reader to ponder how they ‘may get into that house’ ‘too’.