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Using the Special Stuff

Located along the far wall of a seldom used dining room, my mother-in-law’s china cabinet proudly displayed a vast assortment of serving pieces, glassware and a host of trinkets collected over a lifetime. When you stood at the entrance of the room - not venturing any further for fear of setting off a museum-like alarm that would loudly protest the intrusion - you could peer through the glass doors to make out countless items formally arranged in tidy rows, the smaller items positioned before a backdrop of standing plates. This perpetual exhibit was apparently intended only for display, since throughout the twenty years I knew Florence I never once saw any item in that cabinet - nor the room in which the cabinet was housed - ever used.

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