Wednesday, November 21, 2007

For These Four Things

There are lots of things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. One little table in the corner of my living room tells the story of four things I am very grateful for. The table holds a carnival glass dish, a lamp and a pottery pitcher holding a ceramic yellow daffodil, and reminds me of the values of charity, thriftiness, patience and perseverance I am grateful for learning from my family as I grew up.

The carnival glass dish was my Granny Watson's. When she started housekeeping, she didn't have a lot and the Great Depression was at full force. The dish was one of her few nice things, but when a neighbor who had even less came by and admired it, she gave it to her. Many years later, my mother was surprised to see it at an estate sale after that neighbor's death, and she bought it. When my mother died, the dish became mine. When I see it, I am always reminded of her example of charity and that it really is better to give than receive.

The simple lamp was a wedding gift to my parents, and when I was a little girl, it stopped working. I remember watching while my father fixed the lamp. A few years later, it stopped working again. And he fixed it again. It still works today, and every time I see it, I am reminded of my parent's tear-the-paper-towels-in-half brand of thriftiness.

My mother took up pottery later in life, and the daffodil in the pitcher is one that she made. It reminds me of the ones she planted in a line in our backyard-on either side of my basketball goal. Needless to say, every year, the flowers began to bloom at about the same time the weather was getting warm enough to make shooting baskets in the back yard inviting. And, every year, the flowers got crushed by the basketball, or at least most of them did. I remember many a pained looked on my mother's face when she saw the crushed flowers, but don't recall many harsh words. She never made me stop playing basketball. She seemed to know what was really important in that mix, so when I see the daffodil, I am reminded of both her patience and the perseverance of those flowers that kept coming back year after year despite being crushed.

We don't always know what we're teaching our children, but in every case, it is what they see us do, more than what they hear us say that teaches the important lessons, and I am grateful for having examples of these four: charity, thriftiness, perseverance and patience. I'm still working of all of these-especially the patience!

Happy Thanksgiving!


theysaywordscanbleed said...

I'm just thankful that my family and I are at its strongest point and that it is very possible that we might spend the holiday flowers together.

Tina said...

My younger daughter and her girl scout troop have collected and dressed 800+ Barbie-type dolls to give to a Christmas toy charity.
Kathy has been running them through the washing machine --She says they come out looking brand new and the fabric softener does wonders for their hair !!

dave said...

I am quite attached to a few items at home and would never like to part with them. Those include some Carnival Glass collectibles. But if it can bring a smile to someone I would love to give it away.