Monday, December 08, 2008

Thanks Mom!

Today I unearthed my mom's holiday dishes and put them through the dishwasher. Aren't they pretty? I don't think these have been out of the box for about 5 or 6's still amazing to Robert and me that we run across these things in boxes from my mom which continue to bless our lives. They aren't the least bit expensive...just decorative.

Perhaps I need to say something concerning my mom and the fine ways she taught my sister and I. Our table was ALWAYS set as if for guests. Every single meal...even breakfasts. Breakfast tables were set the night before. Dinner tables were set as soon as possible after we had finished breakfast and left for school. I never remember coming home to an unset table.

My dad was a bit of a stickler for having my mom around. So if she had a meeting to go to, a church visit to make, she HAD to have the dinner ready for finishing touches and the table set so that when daddy walked in, it would look like she had been home where he expected her....not that she couldn't leave. He just expected certain things. When he died, altho she was alone for a number of years, I think she enjoyed the freedom. When she married again, the tables continued to be set as they had always been.

There is a niceness that accompanied this living style. We always knew there would be food on the table, a table so nicely presented. My mom was an apron wearer as am I and my girls. She was Donna Reed....but better. And much prettier. We learned table manners. We learned to eat what was placed in front of us. Daddy being daddy meant there could be NO disturbances, no loud voices at the table. Otherwise, he'd toss down his cloth napkin and run out of the kitchen. I have always complained that this is why my sister who to this day doesn't eat vegetables (she thinks corn is vegetable). If my mom gave Debi something to eat that she didn't like, my sister would throw a fuss and daddy would depart. Debi learned early how to get her way but was too young to see the upset and despair it caused my mom.

So table setting is very important to me. Not sure all my girls feel the same way and to the same degree. Dawn says she sets the table every night. Jordan's wife seems to (but remember, I don't see them daily, only the pix they send). Cara and Jocelyn have children who use their table for more than dinners but I have seen the lovely tables Jocelyn has set for us when we visit. And Cara has this most heavy set of silverware, everyday ware that both Robert and I hope to have someday. We never ate dinner around the TV, nor even had the TV on in another room....not when I was a child, nor when I was the parent. Dinner was the time to be together and share and laugh and argue. Yes, my children weren't as docile as I was....but that's OK. I would like to think that my children still appreciate the fine ways they learned and someday I hope they pass on this valuable time to their own children. I am not trying to slight any particular child of mine, nor try to force them into things my way (altho we all know my way is the best way, right HatchBatch?)

I have always bought dishes for all holidays and seasons, never expensive--just decorative. It's a special treat for me, at least. So again...thanks mom!

PS I have edited this entry. Randy came by and mentioned that his 18 year old nephew just died...didn't wake up. And we talked about how fleeting life can be. One day we are day we are gone. He said, "not that long ago you were talking to your mom. " And I was. I still do but back then she answered. So I edited with words of what I know now. Hopefully no one else can take offense.


Lin said...

I'm so impressed with your table setting...isn't corn a vegetable? A good example you have set and are following from your mom.

marissa said...

what am i, chopped liver? why no mention of marissa's table setting skills and tendency towards wearing aprons AND heels while vacuuming? what's up with that? c'mon, give the people what they want!

...i'm just teasing you. or maybe myself.

mom/caryn said...

This is great! Meals together seem to be not much more than a memory or something for Holidays and Wedding luncheons for much of society these days.

I love having placemats, pretty dishes, and centerpieces. Even with just the two of us, I think it's important to sit together and bless the food and our family (wherever they may be).

My daughter seems to eat meals with mom standing at the counter with the kids, and dad is who knows where. I think she'd like it to be different, but her hubby is in and out of the house so much... she never knows when he's going to be available for a meal.

This is a lovely post, Susan.

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