But inside it is still fall.
I have so much to the be thankful for but today I am thankful for a set of sixty (maybe more) year old dishes.
My dining table had been set with everyday, plain, white dishes but they have now been replaced with my great-grandmother's dishes. My mom had married her grandson, my step-dad, when I was seven. The first time I met her I was about ten years old.We flew to Florida that year for Thanksgiving at her house. She was originally from New York City but had retired in Florida. We lived on a military base in Washington state so this was our first meeting. I remember being struck by the fact that her dishes had turkeys on them! Her table was full of crystal serving pieces, silver plated dishes and real silverware as opposed to the flatware and Corelle ware that graced our table back home. People "back east" entertained differently then and way different from what this poor girl was used to. Imagine, plates that were just for Thanksgiving!
Two years ago I was enjoying some free time visiting some of my favorite blogs and I saw someone's post about their Thanksgiving dishes. It immediately sparked the memories of that ten year old girl. All my loved ones that are no longer with us were happy and well in those memories. I knew those dishes had been passed onto my mother a few years before she had passed. My dad had not gotten rid of them but also had no idea where they were. It took a trip to my dad's to find the dishes, pack them up and ship them home.
They are only out for a short time. They are not dishwasher safe, I don't think. (I would want to test it.) But to me they are worth the extra care and the extra space they take in my cabinets.
The table is set and ready for celebrations, conversations, and laughter. When I walk through the room during the day memories flood my mind. I can almost smell my great-grandmother's mincemeat pie. It was the first time I had ever had it or heard of it! It mingles in my brain with the fragrance of my grandmother's perfume, my grandfather's tall frame, and the sound of my mother's voice. I am thankful for these people that loved me so well. Even though they are no longer with us the dishes remind me of them and of that time; a time when my own version of the Norman Rockwell family was carefully sown into my brain. I had no idea at the time. I took for granted the gathering of family and, knowing me, I was probably bored out of my 10 year old brain with all the "grown up talk".
So now, how amazing it is to me that the memory is so precious that it ignites a heart of thankfulness. Thankful for the love, thankful for the memories and thankful for an incomplete set of dishes that are used for a very short time every year. Perspective is everything, friends.
May your Thanksgiving celebrations be filled with moments that plant memory seeds of family and love. I also pray that you are able to appreciate moments as they happen and that you intentionally take time to look at the faces, hear the laughs, see the eyes, feel the love (no matter how imperfect it may be) and to give thanks to God for the people He has put into your life. We and they are not promised tomorrow. We have today and today is enough to be thankful for.
Psalm 100:4- Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.