Meet Kent 5422. Kent is not a person; it is actually a collection - my mother's Noritake-brand China from the 1950s. This is a mid-century design (circa 1950) with a pink floral center, green and platinum bands, with a platinum edge on a white background. The set is considered ‘service for 12’. Twelve being the magic number in my Mother's day, when young women had ‘hope chests’ in which they collected beautiful things to bring to their married life. It spent most of every year in the china hutch, propped up as ornaments, safely behind glass doors. This China set came out of the hutch exactly four times each year: Thanksgiving Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Easter Sunday. All the family holiday meals were celebrated at our house, a noisy, long afternoon of food, conversation and some good-natured, loud arguments. For each of these holidays, the delicate dishes, plates, cups, soup bowls and serving pieces were brought out almost ceremoniously. Even though my mother had given up precious cabinet space in her tiny kitchen to have a dishwasher, these dishes were all cleaned by hand both before and after dinner after. Today this beloved china lives in special storage containers in my basement.