I love Thanksgiving...all of it..... I love buying the food, preparing it, polishing silver, setting the table. I love praline sweet potatoes, cornbread stuffing, and rolls...lots of rolls. My husband carves the turkey, Ashleigh loves the mashed potatoes and Mikey wants chocolate pie...Emma likes apple crisp and Trey says he is not sure what he likes the most.
While I was getting everything ready it occurred to me how many people are a part of my Thanksgiving. Everything I picked up had a story and someone to attach it to.
I washed the curtains in the dining room. Those curtains Connie sewed for me. I got the lace from Claudine after Theresa realized they were just going into storage after Claudine got new curtains.....so three friends all involved in one project....and they are still on my windows after all these years.
I polished the oak side board that I bought from my quirky neighbor who sold antiques out of her house....also the dining room table.
And then I pulled out all the silver......all the memories of my grandmother who ruled Thanksgiving with a silver fist. Her silver is every where in my dining room. She loved the silver, the bowls, tea set and flatware. When she got real sick I flew home to visit her and we pulled out the flatware and just looked at it. So when I set the table it is always an homage to her. She set this beautiful table for Thanksgiving and then insisted we eat at halftime. For those of you from Texas no explanation is necessary but for all of you who don't revolve your lives around football, Texas and Texas A&M always play on Thanksgiving. And we always watched.....so dinner was important, but football reigned. She set the table early we arrived early and we ate late.....and I loved just looking at the table.
I enjoyed the day, the windows are clean, the floor is polished and I can't wait for my family to sit down around our table tomorrow. Everyone is home for the first time in two years......I have a lot to be grateful for....
I hope you are going to have a wonderful Thanksgiving...make it a point to find things to be thankful for.
Gratitude makes all the bad feelings go away...
Now bring on Christmas, my silver is polished!!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I have a video to share...I found it on a fellow bloggers blog...when she said it made her happy I had to see. And sure enough, it worked...it made me smile.
Oh, and the picture of dressed up Chihuahua's? When I was little my parents raised Chihuahua's and I truly did dress them up. Evidently there is something compelling about dressing up Chihuahua's...and here is proof. Sometime I will find the picture of the three dogs I dressed as cowboys,in chairs, ready for high tea. Priceless, or disturbed.....you decide.
Anyway the following video proves how small the world is. I believe there are some really good, positive reasons for the world to shrink. And this shows how beautiful the world is...how beautiful people are....and how optimistic we should be.
It also looks like the kind of movie my son Trey would make. Instead of a guy named Matt, this so easily could be Trey. He would have loved to be involved in this.....just making people happy. Isn't that a great thing to say about another person?
As for me I am going to be positive and hopeful for the next 5 weeks. I am going to love these holidays. A great man said not very long ago......."Come what may, and love it." There is so much to love, if we look for it. So much to be happy about, if we chose it. And so much good to accomplish if we do it. Three verbs...three ideas....looking, choosing, and doing.
On my walk this morning I plugged the Ipod in my ear and lipsynched down the street to Gloria Gaynor and "I will survive". Not because of some message, I just think it is a great powerful song, easy to sing to and easy to dance to....and please don't dwell on the mental image of me dancing and singing down my street. I am certain I frightened the neighbors...but no matter what, I was smiling!
I am going to do something to smile about every day....maybe even laugh out loud. It is my new challenge. Tell me, what you do to laugh out loud?
Or....do you....laugh out loud? I hope so.
Enjoy the video....I loved it. And watch how he made it too, there is a link for that, just here to help.
And have a great Thanksgiving...it think it is going to be a great one!
Monday, November 8, 2010
Saturday I attended the funeral of my friend Lisa. She passed away from the effects of ovarian cancer, and she left behind parents and four sisters. One of those sisters was my dearest friend Stef. She invited my little family to be a part of her larger family almost thirty years ago, a blessing I will never fully be able to repay. I learned so much from them over the years, but never more than on Saturday when Stef and her sisters said goodbye to Lisa. It wasn't sad, it was beautiful....it was hopeful, it was a celebration of a "life lived well."
Lisa left this life surrounded by her family. And she passed on to a life I know is also filled with family. This life is simply a stop in our eternal journey. There are specific things we do at every stop, and this one is all about how we treat each other. If you hadn't noticed, this life can be very hard. We have a great deal of serious things to deal with. Illness, money, and our relationships with people. We deal with parents, the Taliban,children, husbands, wives, and the Chinese. Our whole lives revolve around people...the ones on the freeway who need to be in our lane a bit prematurely.....the ones who get the last cardigan on sale in our size...or the ones who ask us to go ahead of them in line because we only have a gallon of milk.
When Lisa was in the hospital I saw something that will stay in my heart forever. She was in intensive care, in a small room, very intimidating with lots of machines, and certainly not a lot of privacy....I was there with Ann for a minute and then Stef came in and then a few minutes later Karen arrived. Three of her sisters. I stood at the foot of the bed and watched these three women stroke her hair, hold her hand, adjust her pillows, offer her water, just doing whatever they could to help her be comfortable. They worked in tandem, a graceful dance of ministering angels. I will keep the picture of those three sisters around Lisa's bed in my heart forever.
I was changed by that...I realized more clearly than ever before that we are here on earth to comfort each other, to help each other, to lift each others burdens. We have been given talents and blessings not simply to enrich our own lives but to enrich the lives of those around us. Only when we decide each day to make life a bit more bearable for someone else do we really find joy.
Saturday I listened to Stef and her sisters talk about Lisa. Not only did Lisa matter, but she made life easier for those around her. I know she did for me. She sent gifts to my children while they were on missions for our church and made sure I always had eye cream. Lisa lived a life that mattered. She was someone who loved people and spent her life helping those who could not help themselves. She left this life peacefully, with no regrets, surrounded by people who loved her. Is anything better than that?
We have very little control over what goes on this in life.....but we do have control over ourselves. We cannot make people love us more, but we can love them more. We can't erase grudges that have occurred, but we can forgive and vow never to hold a grudge again. We can give our husbands or wives or children a mile instead of an inch. We can look for the good in the people around us and simply ignore the bad. We can say we are sorry, which may be our greatest gift to others. I believe in the law of the harvest, that we reap what we sow....and when we are consistently kind, when we tell the truth, when we serve without thinking what is in it for me......we will find real joy. It is our purpose in life to ease each other's burdens...no matter the outcome, never keeping score.
I hope this little blog post conveyed the feelings in my heart. And to my friend Lisa...thank you...thank you for showing me a "life lived well."