Your Town, Nov. 17, 2013

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to dress up the table with crisp ironed linens, fall-themed centerpieces and special heirloom china.

I remember years ago lovingly preparing the table with a set of china that had been passed down to me a few years earlier. I fondly remembered special meals served on the china during my childhood and teen years. Whenever the china was set out, I knew our family was in the midst of what must be an enduring tradition.

Imagine how thrilled I was when Mom offered me the china set as she and Dad were downsizing, more than 20 years ago. When Thanksgiving rolled around that year, Mom and Dad had come for the holiday and I went about setting the table with the china, just as Mom had done for many years.

The turkey was golden brown, the stuffing and gravy fit for a king and the potatoes whipped to perfection. Everything looked exquisite on my new, heirloom china.

With pumpkin pie slices served on the dessert plates and steaming coffee in the dainty cups with saucers, I approached the question, like an archeologist, digging up the past.

“So, Mom, Dad,” I started with excitement, “can you tell me the history of the heirloom china? Which great-grandma lovingly owned it first? Did you eat holiday meals on them when you were a child?” 

“What are you talking about?” Mom asked, sipping her coffee.

I still remember the moment I learned the story. It was like the POP! of a huge balloon, followed by latex fragments, floating down like missiles around me.

“Gas station dishes??!!” I repeated, stunned at the revelation.

“When you girls were little, the gas station had a promotion. Each time you filled your tank, you would get a new piece from the set. Over time, and after many tanks of gas, we had the full set,” Mom explained.

From that day forward, the china was affectionately referred to as “The Gas Station Dishes.”

And, still lovely to look at and used on special occasions, the china’s sentimental value — filled with childhood memories — far exceeds its original cost.

The Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner is set for Thursday, Nov. 28, at the Elks Lodge, 249 S. Fourth St., and the public is invited to donate items for the dinner.

Take donations of turkeys, pies, vegetables, potatoes, hams and canned goods to The Salvation Army, 1235 N. Fourth St., or Nick ‘n’ Willy’s Pizza, 683 Horizon Drive, through Nov. 22.

Mesa County Libraries is hosting a food drive at its Central Library, 443 N. Sixth St., through Nov. 23.

Donations will benefit the Community Food Bank.

Call 243-4442 for information.

Are they nuts?

Grand Mesa Chorus Sweet Adelines International is hosting a fresh nut fundraiser featuring eight varieties of nuts ranging from mixed nuts to pecans to pistachios to various almonds and more.

Costs are from $8.50 to $10.50 per pound and all members of the chorus are available to take orders.

Call Shirley at 255-9419 or Claudia at 245-9484 for information or to place an order.

Thunder Mountain Camera Club will have its monthly meeting, featuring a program by photographer Rob Kurtzman, at 7 p.m. Nov. 26 at a new location — The Artist’s Haven, 240 North Ave.

Call Kathleen at 260-7488 for more information.

Several Mesa County 4-H members and leaders participated in the State 4-H Colorado Leadership Camp Nov. 8–10 in Glenwood Springs.

The conference is available for any 4-H member in sixth- through eighth-grade. The retreat-style weekend, with the theme “Reaching New Heights,” featured various workshop to increase citizenship and leadership skills.

Chaperons Danelle Ener and Amy Moore, along with members Haylee Bibeau, Tanner Bibeau, Courtney Ener, Kyler Greenhow, Emerson Hill, Kali Jones, KiAnne Milholland, Taylor Rubalcaba and Zachary VonFeldt, attended the conference.

Call Tina or Dolores at 244-1835 for information.

A potluck and paint-along is planned for the Nov. 21 Brush & Palette Club member meeting beginning at noon Thursday at The Artist’s Haven, 240 North Ave.

Take a potluck dish to share (and your own utensils). The paint-along will be from 
1–3 p.m. Using your paints, the board will participate with comments and helpful hints.

Call Katie Hill at 241-0410 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for information.

Grand Valley Audubon Society will host two events this week.

The monthly membership meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church, 3940 27 1/2 Road. “Conservation and Birds in South Africa” will be presented by Susan Longest.

A waterfowl field trip gets underway at 8 a.m. Saturday, at Corn Lake. A great field trip for beginners, it will feature spotting scopes for viewing. Cost is $5 per person and the purchase of a State Parks Pass is needed. Youth can attend at no charge. The trip will end midafternoon at Highline Lake. Take a lunch, snacks and water.

Submit your Planner and community news items by email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), by fax at 244-8578, or by mail to P.O. Box 668, Grand Junction, CO 81502. Items to be considered for Your Town should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event.


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