. . . Aaaand if I could add a subtitle, I would add this: “And a hoped-for return to gentility.”
Two quick* things today, Gentle Reader.
Okay, actually . . . three quick things. Possibly, four. Sorry. 🙁
You are aware, aren’t you, that we’ve been undergoing a vast kitchen remodel for the past nearly-six months (*gasp*)? Urrrggh. That’s a long time to live with all the noise and mess and sawdust and expense and the much-ballyhooed (by me) Decision Fatigue. (It’s a thing, Reuben, it is.). And it’s not finished yet, not by a long shot. #patienceisavirtue
You can read all about it (if you really want to put yourself through that?) starting here.
Frankly, my dear, I have gotten so accustomed to the mess and the
wild mild wild might as well be honest, mild but they’ll lose all respect for me wild respect?? chaos and the piles of stuff and the in-general-state-of-behindedness that I am surrounded with at our house at the moment, that I forget this one indisputable fact: not everybody in the world is living this way.
And then, when I find myself in somebody else’s house–one that happens to be neat and tidy–I feel relief and admiration wash over me. I smile. I’m happy. I don’t want to leave. Ever.
One friend led me through her house the other day, on a mission to fetch something for me, and my spirit delighted in the order present there. Clean-swept floors. Gleaming countertops. The refrigerator actually in the kitchen, where it belongs. No tablesaw in the living room, no shop-vac in the kitchen (not that I’m complaining!) Et al. Another friend had Amalia and me over for coffee–served with cookies, in dainty cups and saucers, and on placemats. Placemats, Gentle Reader. Those green placemats, set on a table with a cloth tablecloth–were a true balm to my mess-weary soul. It was a blessing to be surrounded by tidiness and . . . shoot . . . placemats.
I couldn’t stop smiling. 🙂 <—-like this
In other developments, the kids and I finally cleaned off the table yesterday–we had been eating meals sitting on random chairs around the wood stove, because the table was so cluttered with this and that, and we just hadn’t taken the time to put the piles away. (You get Honesty on this blog, make no mistake. Raw and Ugly it may be, but it is Honest.) But finally, we went to the trouble to do it, and I put on a new colorful tablecloth, and I stood back to look at it, with unaccountable pleasure.
I felt relief and such a lift at that teensy bit of order. I cleared a spot and called Reubsy’s attention to it, like a besotted idiot. “Look, Reuben! A clean spot!!” Our contractor, Reuben, does a good job of cleaning up the sawdust and the mess at the end of every day (most days, cough), but you know—there’s the rest of the house to contend with. 🙁 Yikes, you don’t even want to know, Gentle Reader.
Don’t–even–ask!! 🙁 (And please, please don’t ask Reuben!)
But never mind that. I intend to keep the dinner table cleaned off, because I think we are worth taking the time for, and that it’s worth the effort to make things nice during mealtimes, even if we are surrounded with the clutter and mess of our kitchen remodel.
Which, by the way, we are.
It takes just a tiny bit of time and trouble to spread a clean tablecloth, or put out some cloth napkins, no matter how pressed for time you might be.
And may I venture here, Gentle Reader: if you are too pressed for time to put out a clean tablecloth from time to time, or to cook a simple meal and share it at home, it might be time to cut out something in your busy schedule to make it possible. Because we actually made the time last night to clean off the table, to serve some homemade soup and to eat it together at the table, a nice thing happened. After supper, the boys hauled out a game and we sat there and played it together, until bedtime. If we had just eaten on the fly, or clustered around the wood stove, we probably would have gone our separate ways after supper.
It’s worth it, folks. It’s worth it to make the effort to spend time together. Take it from me, Gentle Reader. I have three children now who are all grown up and living away from home with their own families. Of course this is the way it should be–we want our littles to grow up and develop the skills to go out and make lives of their own–but there are definitely days of heart-longing when I’d give nearly anything to have them all at home again, sharing a meal around the table, all together again.
Or months of heart-longing.
When you have it every day, sometimes you don’t appreciate it, right? So my humble advice to you if you have littles at home, Gentle Reader, is this–make the effort to spend time together around the table as often as possible. It’s precious time. It won’t last forever.
And you will never regret it.
Taking the time to attend to a few details–using a pretty tablecloth, or putting some flowers in a vase– shows your family that you love having them there with you.
This line of musing that I had been indulging in was partly why I was so tickled when Dad showed me the latest project that he’d been working on in his shop. He made Mom some lovely hand-turned napkin rings, and he offered to make a few for my shop, too.
Take a gander. They are so pretty. I just love them.
So far, Dad has made napkin rings out of two different types of wood: walnut (above) and cedar (see below).
He has two different styles available for each wood–smooth or lined.
Using napkin rings with cloth napkins–like placemats, and egg cups, and tablecloths, and doilies–using all these things are kind of a lost art, I think, just like the family gathering around the table to share a home-cooked meal can be, if we don’t take the time to just do it.
If you’re interested in buying some of these pretties for your table, click on this link and it should (fingers crossed!) take you to my shop, where you can place an order just-like-that!
In other blog shop-related news, Dad and I are running a free personalizing promotion from now until the end of February! Dad made a bunch of new French rolling pins for my shop, and though he signs and dates each one with his wood burner on one end, the other end he leaves blank. For a limited time only, Dad will woodburn whatever you like (up to 6 or 7 letters) on the end. So “I <3 you” or “to Mom” or “Sally” or “to Amy” all fit!
Check out my shop to see what styles and woods I have available for sale right now. The supply changes quite often, so if you see something you like, you might want to snatch it right up!
How to take advantage of the free personalization promo: choose your rolling pin and put it into your cart, and after you’ve checked out, send me a note (with the “Contact Me” button, above) with what you would like wood-burned into the end of your pin. That’s it! Easy-peasy!
OOooooh! One more thing: I’ve added full-sized French rolling pins, made out of Walnut, to my shop.
Thanks for popping in, Gentle Reader. Have a lovely day! And . . happy shopping!