A Fancy Love

We have been super spoiled this week with here in Georgia with a taste of spring time. The sun has been shining, the birds are singing, flowers are beginning to bud. It is my favorite season. Spring awakens me in a way like no other season. I see the newness of life bursting forth from the earth. The colors of springtime are bright and vibrant and beautiful. After the gray days of winter, with the short days, naked trees and dead flora all around, the new birth of spring brings me much joy! Spring is a fancy season in my opinion. All the blooming flowers make the world feel fancier to me

Matt and the twins began to prep our yard for spring. (Joe was working, otherwise her would have been out there too!) Matt trimmed our rose bushes and shrubs. We got all the trimmings cleaned and a burn pile ready when the weather is right for it. We saw birds trying to find nesting spots, two tried and got stuck on the back porch, we had to rescue them. I am ready to get my hummingbird feeders set out. They will be returning soon. We have several days of rain ahead, but February is almost over and the days are getting longer. The sun is getting warmer, I can feel and hear the awakening of all the life surrounding us. We live in the south, so spring comes early for us. However, I am more than aware that we always get a nice tease of spring and then we always seem to get one more bitter blast of winter before it finally goes away completely.

Today I set my dining room table for spring with dishes from Matt’s parents. Dishes that were a fine treasure to them. They never used them, that I know of. We found them tucked up high on a top shelf in the cabinets so no one would be able to reach them for daily use. They were special dishes. They were very proud to own such fancy china. They are beautiful! They have a gold band around the edge and a dogwood pattern on them. These particular dishes were made in Occupied Japan, which makes them a bit more rare and exotic. I was very honored to have gotten these dishes, I know what they meant to Matt’s mom. We now have several sets of “fancy” dishes. I enjoy setting up our dining room for each season and holiday. We rarely use our dining room, but I love having it ready for whatever reason. I always wanted a formal dining room with a china cabinet to display our fine wares! When I married Matt I got one.

These dishes made me think of the things we often don’t use and save for a special occasion. Why is that? I understand the concept of not wanting to break things, or ruin them but let’t be honest. What is the point in having nice or special things if we never actually use or enjoy them? So I have decided that tomorrow I will serve Sunday dinner on those fancy dishes in our dining room. I will take great care and hand wash them after and return them to make my table beautiful again, but I want to enjoy the use of these. I want to sit around the table with my family and create a memory. Once upon a time Sunday dinners were a normal occurrence for a lot of families. I think we should bring that back. Yes, we have eaten a lot of family meals during quarantine and the pandemic, but tomorrow I want to use her dishes. I want to make it special. I want to remind our kids of the special meaning of these dishes, but even more, remind them of the grandparents that we have been unable to see because of the pandemic. They are in an assisted living home now and our visitations are very limited and have been shut down more than once. We don’t want the kids around them since they are around people at school. It is just one more thing that Corona has taken away from us. They are in the winter of life. Our kids still have many years ahead of them, as do we. (We hope!) We are never promised tomorrow, so make the most of today. I hope they too will hold onto this memory. I am trying so hard to create memories for our kids that they will take with them into adulthood. Moments that they can return to down the road that will bring them joy.

My self love today was setting my spring table. It may seem odd to some. But I really enjoy it and it is something that is all my own. I loved thinking of Matt’s mom while I set my table with her dishes. Remembering how she loved her things. How she loved a beautiful table and delicious food. How she loved, loved, loved her grandchildren, and actually all children. Dementia may have taken her memory and her mind, but it cannot take away our memories.

Those of you who are still in the yuck of winter and cold, add some spring to your home to brighten things up! It will help your lighten heart and bring you some joy. Find something to put out in your house that makes you happy. Use something that you have been saving for a special day, because you can make any day a special day. Use it. Don’t hide it away up on a shelf or in a closet. Enjoy it!

By Laurel Austin Henson

Laurel spent 8 months caring for her first husband after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He passed away at 33, leaving behind a daughter of 7 and 5 year old twin boys. After sowing millions of tears, Laurel sought out God daily and began to plan for a life of being a single mother, but ready to raise their children in faith, hope and love. God gave her more than she could have ever imagined when she brought Matt into her life, along with his 2 children. He was recently divorced and the providence of God had been leading up to this life for more than 20 years! Now Laurel is reaping joy with Matt and their 5 beautiful children. Thanks be to God for all the beauty created from the ashes of death and divorce.

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