We don't require an expensive resort vacation (although I have to admit a little sunny get away would be quite palatable right about now) to shake our winter blues. So the boys and I escaped to my grandparents' home for a few days over their Spring Break to change up our routine a bit. They always spoil us to the nth degree and we let them. But their spoiling isn't lavish...it's just time...cherished time.
And as we helped set the table for lunch one of those days, something struck me in this simple setting of the table. It wasn't a fancy china plate kind of setting, but the good ole, down home setting. Food, comfort food, in a mismatch of decades of bowls and platters collected. Those chipped dishes filled with that which is meant to satisfy our rumblings, deeper than even I knew. Even leftovers are reheated and then transferred to those dishes. And whether are two or twenty of us these dishes are filled. This wasn't a haphazard filling...rushed at days end, but carefully placed til the table was full, and plates were full, and bellies were full.
There is such joy at this table as bowls are passed round and plates are filled. That clattering of spoons and chattering of voices, and "please pass the gravy" (there is always gravy at Grandma's table). Tales told, histories of years long gone, laughing at this days events, enjoyment....a family communion in this breaking of bread.
And afterward, I find my children gladly, cheerfully even, clearing the table and myself at Grandma's kitchen sink scraping plates, scrubbing pans, and loading the dishwasher and I'm happy, joyfully happy and content.
Why don't I do this? I don't truly set the table. I scoop helpings from the pots and pans I cook in and carry them to the table where we scarf down food and move on to the next task....living...but not truly communing in our hurried ways. Why should we escape or even wish to escape this simple time together...laughing, learning, loving, savoring not just the meal but the time, the moment?
You know, I still learn something unexpected at Grandma's house, even in my own motherhood. So "Please Pass the Gravy"...meal time at our house is getting a makeover...from mundane to joy filled. Now if I can just find that in meal planning! Life is a journey and I'm taking it one step and one meal at a time.
and still counting my everyday gifts...
43. Enthusiastic boy crafter...wall filled with Easter story in drawings
42. Silly mistakes...a reminder to slow down, don't rush
41. A realization that Mom does do laundry...and he's thankful
40. Helping hands at dinner time
39. Colors cascading into quilt patterns
38. Building memory moments
37. Grandma time
36. Mom time
35. Sister time
34. Belly laughs, til you cry laughs
33. Sunshine window panes across child's play
32. Crazy, kid jokes...laughing in spite of myself
31. Boys who still aren't too big for Easter egg hunts
30. Early Easter egg hunts
29. Invincible daddy's
26. Exuberant play with cousins
25. Winds blowing seasons change
24. Big brother, reading tutor to little brother
23. Little boy with big ideas
22. Spaghetti smiles, sauce splashed chin
21. Boys tales of school day adventures
20. Sun light shining through windows in need of cleaning
19. Socks stripped off into messy balls, left knowing they'll be cleaned by Mom
18. Birds Spring songs through windows open
17. Peepers peeping
16. Great-grandma's retelling of childhood memories, of piano playing long lost from crooked fingers
15. Boy wrapped in Grandpa's loving arms
14. Surrounded by cousin laughter
13. Smiling Grandpa, who's smiles are fewer now