September 08, 2008

Preparing A Place

As a little girl, the highlight of my summer would always be a trip to visit my great Grandmother who lived in West Virginia. As soon as I entered her home, after numerous hugs and kisses, my great grandmother would always bring down the aprons off of their hook. Every year there would be a new apron sewn just for me! Isn't that amazing how one simple act can mean so much to a child? After we donned our aprons we would scurry about the kitchen to prepare for the baking of our yearly treat, peanut butter cookies. She had an old Hoosier that was very well worn, but also well loved, that we worked upon. Side by side we would mix up the ingredients for these delicacies, while my grandmother sung a hymn or hummed a tune. Year after precious year, this was our tradition.

As far back as I can remember, I have always had the love for home and family. I believe that those special moments spent with my grandmother helped form me into the homemaker I am today. I wish I could tell her how much I appreciate all the wisdom and love she bestowed upon me, but sadly I can't. But, there is one way, one hugely important way, that I can thank her, and that is to pass down what she taught me, to my daughter, Miss Bonnie. From the time she was little we have worked side by side in the kitchen and it is my prayer that one day she will have that same privilege with her own daughter.

If I close my eyes I can still see all the gleaming, delicate china that my grandmother had in her china hutch. Why, I can even remember the wonderful smell when I opened those beautiful doors. When I would visit, one of my jobs was to set the table. Unlike today, three large meals were prepared every day. As soon as the dishes were washed and dried (by hand of course;o) they would be put back on the table in preparation of the next meal. It wasn't until the last meal of the day that the dishes were placed lovingly back in the hutch. I honestly can't remember a time when the table wasn't beautifully set and as a young child this made a big impression on me. What I didn't realize then was that I was learning a very important lesson. Of course, it taught me to think ahead and be prepared when it comes to meal planning, but the lesson that my grandmother taught me was the importance of preparing a place. Each family member had their own special place at the table and my grandmother made sure that it was always ready for them. It was conveying a beautiful message that said, "you have an honored seat at our table." What a wonderful message to send to those you love!!

That is something that we can all do, isn't it? It doesn't have to be a table filled with cut crystal and bone china, all it needs to be is one that has been lovingly prepared. Why,adding a vase of flowers, lighting a candle, or having pretty napkins can make even the simplest of dishes look beautiful. The most important thing is that it will speak volumes to those you love and to those you have prepared that special place for!

Helpful tip: I think a good time to set the table is when you are unloading the dishwasher. Instead of putting them in the cabinet you can go ahead and set the table for the next meal. It only takes a few minutes, but can make all the difference to those family members who walk through the front door.


Happy @ Home said...

Hi Susan,

How lucky you are to have had such a special relationship with your great Grandmother and what a sweet Mom you are for passing what you learned along to your daughter.

Your tip about setting the table is a good one.

Happy Monday,

Michelle said...

Ah, such sweet memories you have of your great Grandmother...thanks for sharing them! I really enjoy hearing about your family traditions :)

Have a wonderful week, Susan!

Firefly Nights said...

How fortunate you are to have been able to visit with and make memories with your great-grandmother. The best I could do was have one grandmother alive when I was born. All the other grands and great-grands were already gone.