~Inspiration for Dish Collecting~

Oftentimes we develop an interest in something, at an early age, that stays with us throughout our lives.  I believe my interest in decorating and collecting began when I was in third grade, after my teacher read a particular book.


I don’t know why the story made such an impression on me, that I still remember it so well, almost 60 years after hearing it the first time.


The Boxcar Children, first published in 1924, was written by Gertrude Chandler Warner. 

My 3rd grade teacher, Miss Beatty, read the book to our class, during the 1951/52 school year.

The story tells of 4 children, who run away from an orphanage, rather than live with their grandfather, after hearing he is unkind. 


Along their journey they discover an abandoned boxcar and decide to make it their home.  The children furnish their new home with bits and pieces found at a nearby dump.

boxcarchildrenBThe book is held open with one of my treasures; an old wooden spoon, given to me by my Granddad. 

Through their clever resourcefulness, the Boxcar Children manage to make a home in the boxcar.

After awhile, Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny realize their grandfather is a very nice man, and move to his home.

Grandfather moves the boxcar to the backyard of his home, where the children make it their playhouse.

This was the original story, in a series of books written by Warner.  Eventually other Boxcar Children books were written by various authors.

A few years ago, I bought a paperback copy of volume #1 of The Boxcar Children. The latest copyright, in my book, shows 1989 and a note on the cover mentions being the first time in paperback. I was delighted to discover silhouette illustrations were used in the newer book, as they were in the early editions.


By the time I heard the story, in 3rd grade, I was already in love with the written word.  Going to the library was special. Our Librarian, Miss Bass, read wonderful stories, via radio, each Saturday morning; a happy memory.

Miss Beatty, my teacher, strengthened my love of reading, when she read The Boxcar Children. 

In 3rd grade, I had no idea the story, about the children’s journey and their finding treasures at a dump, would be the catalyst for my love of decorating, garage sales and collecting dishes.


I read The Boxcar Children to my daughters, when they were youngsters. They are avid readers, to this day.  They also enjoy finding treasures at garage sales. 

train1   Because this post has something to do with train cars and because eldest granddaughter, 19 year old Xanti, is a true treasure, I’m adding two of her photographs, taken while traveling to Montana, to attend photography school during Summer 2008.

I believe Xanti began to develop her interest in photography when I handed her my camera one day.  She spent quite awhile, that afternoon and others, taking photos of this and that;  Xanti was a toddler, at the time.

The photos, added here, are two of her favorites and mine, too.

train2  Xanti was 18, at the time she took this photo and the train cars.  She had no photography classes, before attending Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, Montana.  Xanti was the youngest in her class. 

Naturally, I think she is amazing.

Her camera is Canon Rebel Xti.

Interesting information about Gertrude Chandler Warner and how the book came to be written can be found HERE.