Monday, June 23, 2014

Save the Towels! Save the Dishes!

My mom "saves" the good kitchen towels for when "company" comes.  

For Christmas one year, I gave her a couple sets of new matching dish cloths, hand towels and hotpads--I was a young single woman just a few years out of high school, and I had ideas about how to spiff up Ma's farm kitchen.  

About 15 years later, I was digging through her towel drawer (again!) looking for one that wasn't so thin you could read a newspaper through it.   Ah-ha!  The ones I gave her!  Still with their original creases--oh, for pete-sake!!

"Ma!  Why don't you use these?" I held them up, a bit incredulous and somewhat accusatory.

"I'm saving them for good," she explains as if I'm still three and gives me this look that says something.  Surely my education has been lacking if I don't know this already--and by that time I'd finished four years in the Air Force and had graduated from college with high honors as well!      

"Oh, and are we not good enough to put them out?"

Her explanation, born from growing up during the Depression and WWII, I've heard before, certainly made sense back in the days when my five brothers and I and my dad were trucking in and out of the kitchen on our way to or from the barn and the outside chores.   We didn't mean to, but eight pair of hands can turn a clean towel dirty, soggy and unappealing in no time flat.
. . . . . 

Our "everyday" glasses

She gave me the good china a few years back.   I warned her that we would be "using" the good dishes--and not just for company but for spatial family dinners, too. 

"What if you break one of them?" she worried.   I could almost detect her hands moving into a protective mode ready to take back the heavy box.

"Well, then we break one and I'll be sad,"   And I would be, because breaking a dish from someone special is like giving up a little piece of them!   "...but at least we're using them and enjoying them--much more than if they just take up space in a cupboard."  

She pauses and thinks about this new-fangled notion.  But not convinced.

"And I'll think about you and Gramma every time I pull them out."  And I mean it.  Sincerely.   

"Oh, well.  Then I guess it's okay."  

Oh, well, then I guess I passed that test.

. . . . . . . 

My 2nd brother once wrote how our generation was standing on the shoulders of giants; how we benefit from the sacrifices our parents and grand- & great-grandparents made, and what a sure and solid and steady foundation they've given us.  

I've always liked that analogy; it reminds me of being a little girl, and that feeling of connection with the people whose warm hands picked me up and lifted me high into the air with a joyous bounce and a great big hug.  

A legacy and a heritage.   What am I giving my children?   What will they remember from their childhood and teen years?   Who will I be to them?  

Our generations:   one down, one up - squeeze me in between!

We're eating off the good china and remembering dinners in Gramma and Grampa's kitchen, when (it seems) life was more carefree and the future stretched out into forever.

And we'll use the "good" towels to clean up afterwards.

He has given us ... an inheritance that can 
never perish, spoil or fade--
kept in heaven for you....

Therefore, prepare your minds for action;
be self-controlled, 
set your hope fully on the grace 
to be given you 
when Jesus Christ is revealed.

....Live your lives as 
strangers here in reverent fear.
For you know that it is not 
with perishable things
 such as silver or gold that you were 
redeemed from the empty way of life...
but with the precious blood of Christ.

....Always be prepared
 to give an answer to everyone 
who asks you to give the 
reason for the hope that you have...
1 Peter 1, 2 & 3 NIV

You might like this post Motherhood 101 or this one Mothers of Giants (I just realized how poorly titled most of my posts are--how do you like these new titles?) 

No comments: