I’m not always practical, but I think that my practical side tends to come out about household items. Because of this, when we registered for our wedding about a million years ago, we didn’t register for china or silverware. We registered for Corelle sets that would have all we needed in one box and sets of flatware. This is not to say that I didn’t think I would like to have some of those things one day, it just didn’t seem appropriate when we didn’t have any of our own things to start a new home.
In April of this year, we went to visit my Grandparents, since I thought it would make a fun solo trip for the kids and I, plus my Grandma requested that we come see them. She pushed me more for what I wanted from her when she died while I was there, and made frequent requests during that visit (and on the phone afterward) that we come again soon.
After years of telling her that I didn’t know what I wanted (just that I wanted her to live forever), we finally talked about her dining room table. A few days later (when I was gone, but my parents were still there), she said her hutch was a matching set, and I should have that too. Thinking only of what my Mom has in her hutch, I joked to my Mom, “And maybe one day I’ll be a grown up, and actually have china to put in it.” My Mom laughed and said it to my Grandma.
Though we didn’t really grasp just how readily she was preparing for the end of her life (though I think she knew it exactly), she quickly said that they would pack up her china and my Mom could bring it home to me. I washed it all by hand when I got it home, rearranged my kitchen, and I found places to put it in a cabinet. And that’s where it sat from mid April until the end of August.
It was the last day of August, thinking of my Grandma (as I frequently do, since her passing the day after Mother’s Day), that I pulled out four china plates. The same china plates that I had eaten on for so many holiday meals. Plates that over the years have held the culinary delights of my family.
I put macaroni and cheese on those plates, and I set them in front of my children.
“Wow!” Jack exclaimed with the joy of Christmas morning. “Why are we using these fancy plates?”
I said, “I don’t know, Jack. Maybe it’s because they’re pretty. Maybe because it’s Tuesday. Maybe it’s because today…we’re alive.”
“I know,” he said, “I think it’s because we’re celebrating the last day of August.”
“Yeah, maybe,” I answered back.
Or, maybe, I thought, it’s just because I’m trying hard to find the little joys in life that I keep overlooking. And, with that, I sat down to my suddenly fancy macaroni and cheese.
This post is linked to Finer Things Friday.
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