This morning Bill and I were drinking our coffee and talking about what holidays look like and how our lifetime celebrations, family gatherings, change over time. In the almost ten years that we've been grandparents we have had MANY meals with our family. We hold them loosely, trying to allow for changes that have and will occur. This discussion got me thinking about how we might make the ordinary day get togethers more celebratory. I'm wondering and dreaming about small touches that say to the people gathered under our roof, "I wish to celebrate YOU!" For example, when the book club ladies come in September, I am going to scrub the scruffy bathroom that guests use and place two big pots of chrysanthemums in the bathtub. I think the surprise of flowers in an unexpected place might bring a smile.
Many brides these days like all white dishes. One of my nieces said that she likes the way food LOOKS on white plates. That makes sense but I like colorful dishes and I like the idea of choosing a cup or plate for a child and saying, "I am happy that you are here and I put your cocoa in this cup because I wanted you to know how special you are to me." I must get my bunny mugs and my Winnie the Pooh mugs from high shelves and start using them more before the grands get too old. Time flies.
I usually have candy around for the adult kids and the grands. Sometimes the grands gorge and their parents have to step in and move the basket to a high place, but I keep filling them because a sweet is sweet and THEY are sweet and they are SO "my favorites" and Bill's favorites, these precious ones.
So many of things we do are considered "productive" or "worthwhile" and sometimes this causes us to forget to play. Even if nobody reads our words, it's still fun to play around with our imaginations while writing. Creating characters. Creating scenes. Why not do it just for your own entertainment? I think I'd like to have this kind of a discussion with my friends and family. We could all dream up a unique character that only we could create since everyone brings their own diverse mind to the table. What does this character only you can come up with LOOK like? What does she think about when she's waiting in the grocery store check out line? What are her favorite things to eat? What kind of a birthday cake does she want this year and why does she like that kind? What goes through her mind the minute she wakes up? How does she feel about order and disorder? Instead of focusing on ourselves (absolutely essential in light of the inner journey) doesn't it sound fun to create a fictional individual and then to go back and analyze your own creation? This thinking definitely causes me to have more awe for the Creator God. Everyone is SO different and fascinating. I guess I'm thinking of ways to celebrate our own ideas, others' ideas, all the originality around us, and ultimately to revel in the beauty of the human personality. I realize that this quest demands extreme attention to detail (always useful).
(This relates to the photo below) My friend Gigi told me about a range of yarns from ElmTreeYarns on Etsy. It's called Beatrix Potter range/Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. Gorgeous! When I was at the quilt shop buying a gift, I popped an image of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle up on my phone and then the nice lady at the quilt shop helped me put together a little pile of fat quarters that matched her clothes. It was VERY fun! I gave them to my neighbor (her birthday). The flannels below were a pile I bought a few years ago for a quilt for Miss Bug. Aren't they gorgeous?
Well, anyway . . . back to little celebrations. I think we should light and blow out candles on ordinary days as well as birthdays. Little gifts given throughout the year are also appreciated. I might ask the grands what they consider to be celebration food. If and when I make a podcast I think I might dress up (I rarely do this) and wear a few of the things I have that were purchased for celebrations of some sort. Hmmmmmmmm.
Random topic: crickets. The other night after three grands left I walked into our bedroom quietly (Bill had already gone to bed and gone to sleep) and I heard a very loud cricket chirp! I found the cricket behind my cleaning bucket! It'd definitely almost fall. The crickets are singing up a storm!
Do you have some unique ideas relating to little celebrations? Maybe you like to iron a tablecloth when people are coming to dine with you. Maybe you brew a special variety of ice tea. Maybe you place a small vase of flowers in the refrigerator. Maybe you rub a back or cup a lovely face in your hands. Maybe you ask a question nobody has ever asked before.
I hope you have time to think some smaller thoughts today even if your life lends itself to big expansive plans and absolute necessity. It's always life giving to pay attention to the little things.