In which I misread an Etsy ad, with delightful results.
My mother loves all things Southwest, and the colors and motifs of the region fill her house. This periodically leads me to search sites like Etsy for the discontinued Mesa tableware that she began collecting and using some years ago. While I once found a photocopy paper box containing service for four in a Goodwill outside of Washington, D.C.., in the days and years since, it’s been a game of monitoring online sites for pieces to match — or complement — her white, turquoise and tan trimmed dishes.
The last round of searches for her favorite pattern netted something unexpected: ducks. Dansk, the company that made her Southwestern styled plates, has a range of offerings, including things quite unlike the dishes my mother favors. To wit, ducks.
I felt a glimmer of joy and longing at the sight of such a stylish, if unlikely thing: soup tureens in the shape of ducks, with bold navy squiggles and delicate eyelashes. One Etsy listing showed two on a table, side by side, the way one might spot a duck and drake together on a pond in spring. The companionableness of the ceramic pair only added to their appeal, but the Etsy listing indicated only one was available, so I ordered it and went in search of a mate. Providentially, there was another matching duck for sale with another vintage collector, so my table could host a happy pair. I went off to conference, hoping the ducks would make their way safely home.
Snow, ice, and the resulting travel delays created some anxieties for me about the ducks waiting on my doorstep. When I returned and opened a box, there was a surprise:
The ducks were alright, but the package had a pair after all, so I am now the proud owner of three Dansk ducks, each as beguiling as the other. It’s something less than the brood of ducklings Robert McCloskey is said to have brought to his urban apartment as models for Make Way for Ducklings, if more than I’d bargained for, in the best possible way.