Senior Living

• Controlled Entry Buildings • Community Rooms • Laundry Rooms • Inside Mailboxes • Elevator Within Building Call Now To Reserve Your New Apartment Home & Become A Part Of This Friendly Community & enjoy… These apartments let you enjoy the beauty and delight of senior living without the worry of yard work or home maintenance. GRANDVIEW APARTMENTS FOR SENIORS 62+ 3423 Kelly Street • Grand Island (308) 382-6163 • Rent Based On Income • Individual Heating & Air Conditioning • 24 Hour Emergency Maintenance An Independent Lifestyle With You In Mind! Small Pets Welcome The Grand Island Independent THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2020 4A senior LIVING HOBBIES & HANDICRAFTS Something old or new … but always a touch of cobalt blue By Kit Grode For Sandy Hanson, collecting has never been about the value of the pieces that line her kitchen cupboards. Indeed, many of her glass dishes may hold very little value at all. “I have all price ranges,” Hanson said. “I have things from the dollar store to very popular, trendy antique stores. I have a wide spectrum of my likes.” There’s a pattern, if not a plan Indeed, the patterns and dish styles displayed on Hanson’s shelves are of a wide variety. But one theme holds true: Nearly every single dish on display has that touch of cobalt blue. Hanson’s love of cobalt blue led her to collecting Flow Blue China pieces. Flow Blue China is a type of transfer pottery produced in Staffordshire, England, and sold mostly in the U.S. market, according to Collectors Weekly. The blue patterns of the china are deliber- ately blurred, thus giving the style its name. “I found a few of those pieces in antique stores and that started it all, I guess you would say,” she said. “Did I have a plan in hand? No, I did not. It just evolved.” Hanson, of rural Hastings, has been collecting dishes for nearly 30 years. “I just liked pretty dishes,” she said with a laugh. “I just got started going to antique stores or to auctions and some- times purchased some- thing, sometimes not. I just enjoyed looking and enjoying the beauty of pretty dishes and their art.” Years ago, Hanson would pop into every antique store she passed, on a mission to find something in particular. But now, she said, she’s at a point in her life where she has enough stuff. “And yet,” she said, “that’s not to say I won’t go somewhere and buy something.” On a recent antiquing trip, Hanson found a surprise match for a piece she has had in her collection for decades. “I happened to run across a pitcher, a cream pitcher, and I looked at that and thought, ‘I believe this is a pair to a sugar bowl that I have that belonged to my mother’s mother,’ and I purchased it — for a dollar and a half — and brought it home, and it matched perfectly,” she said. “So, what a steal. And just a lot of joy, that it was a perfect match.” Treasured memories, preserved in glassware Hanson’s collection has a few pieces of family history — a bowl that belonged to her mother, her grandmother’s water pitcher, a handful of candy dishes, a silver service — and her collection has also been the inspiration for a few gifts from others. “Years and years ago, one of the first pieces that my children gave me was a Flow Blue that the dealer told us dated back into the 1700s,” Hanson said. “So that’s probably one of my favorites — not only the beauty of it but because my children gave it to me.” Her youngest child, Chad Plambeck, contrib- uted a bit of humor to the telling of that tale. “We went and looked at it (the plate), and you really liked it, and we left,” Plambeck said, “and then I contacted every- body and said, ‘Let’s do this for Christmas,’ and we did it. And I remember you called back and it had sold, and you were very depressed.” “I had forgotten that (part),” Hanson said. But the plate certainly brought her plenty of joy upon rediscovering it beneath the Christmas tree that year, and it still holds a place of honor, front and center, in one of Hanson’s display cabinets. “I don’t know the value of a lot of what I have,” Hanson admitted. “I just know that I liked it at that time, and I still like it. I don’t buy something because I think it has a lot of value; I buy it because it brings joy and pleasure, and I like it.” Bits and pieces, here and there Some of the pieces in her collection actually weren’t intentionally purchased, either. “I would buy at auction, and sometimes I would find things in the box that were a total surprise — and a trea- sure,” Hanson said, pointing out six decorative plates displayed on the walls of her dining alcove. “They were at the bottom of a box of a water pitcher that I purchased, and they were perfect for that wall. That was a good find.” Hanson’s collection isn’t one that is cohesive, and so she feels no issue about the eventuality of divvying it up one day. In fact, she has begun the process already. “I’m trying to put feelers out so that I can put names on something,” she said. One of her grand- daughters recently came back from Spain, where the water is served in glass bottles, and brought back one of those bottles — in cobalt blue, of course — for Hanson. The bottle now sits atop the fireplace mantel. Memories of the roads once traveled “I think my husband thinks I’m crazy some- times, but he never complained,” Hanson said. “In fact, when we would go places, he would always ask if I wanted to stop at an antique store and he stopped many a time.” Independent/Kit Grode LEFT: This candle holder is one of two gifted to Sandy Hanson by a secret sister at her church. CENTER: These four plates are on display in Sandy Hanson’s home in rural Hastings. On the left is a plate found in an antique store in Wallace, N.C. The plate in the center, found in Grand Island, was a gift from Hanson’s children one year. On the right is a plate purchased in Kansas City, Kan. At the back is a plate picked up in Marysville, Kan. on the way home from visiting her parents. RIGHT: This blue globe was purchased by Sandy Hanson in New York City, where the goal was to buy a gift for themselves and see if people could guess who bought what. Now, it sits on one of Hanson’s display tables. Independent/Kit Grode ABOVE: These three plates are part of a set of six decorative plates displayed on the walls of Sandy Hanson’s dining alcove. LEFT: Sandy Hanson poses for a photo in her home in rural Hastings. Hanson, who collects cobalt blue glass dishes, is particularly fond of this piece that dates from the late 1700s, as it was a Christmas gift from her children. Continued on page 5A