Although Mother's Day was almost a week ago, I am just now getting around to posting
anything that resembles a Mother's Day post.
My mother would not be that far behind.
She is much more efficient than myself.
When I am lame about doing stuff inefficiently, not-as-well or not-at-all compared to my mom, I always tell myself, "Self, times have changed. That's why don't do that...blah blah blah." Ha! Does anyone else do that?
Anyway, with all excuses aside, this is my Mother's Day post, five days late. I set a Mother's Day table using dishes that are my mother's, my grandmother's and a great aunts. You can't get more mother-y than that!
I think this post makes it quite obvious that I come from a long line of dish
hoarders lovers. The fact that I can set a table for any occasion without having to go further than my dish closet is a testament to the love of dishes in my family. And lucky for me, they just keep getting passed down.
When we were growing up, it could be safely said that we ate 95% of our meals at home. Maybe even more than that. (School lunches do not count). My mother insisted that we have a hot breakfast every day before school. Every. Single. Day. She also cooked a family meal every night. Even when we were active in school and had ballgames to go to, she had a meal waiting for us before the game(s) or when we got home.
Not only were we lucky enough to get home-cooked meals every day, my mother made sure the table "was set" for each meal. There was no grabbing a fork or spoon from the drawer. There were no paper plates. She made sure there was a set table for every meal.
It certainly did not have to be fancy. Corelle-ware ruled when I was in high school! (That stuff was indestructible!!)
But it was a set table, complete with the utensils in the right place and ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS with the napkin and glass in the correct spot as well.
When I encounter people now that do not know the "correct" way to set a table I have to just shake my head and think, "Clearly, you did not have my mother!!"
Not only that, we were an equal-opportunity family. My brother had to learn the same rules of meal etiquette as my sister and myself. Each meal one of us set the table and someone else cleared it off. There was no argument. It was just how it was. And we knew that!!
My mother took special occasion meals to further teach us. We knew the difference between a salad fork and a dessert fork and the placement of such, when we were very young.
We knew about dessert spoons and ice tea spoons and butter knives and seafood forks like some kids knew the names of singing groups. If we were wrong when we set the table, we were instructed until we got it right.
It is one of those life lessons that has served my brother and sister and I well throughout life.
Certainly we do not judge others that like the simple tables or the grab-and-go meals, but we can appreciate the time, effort and thought that goes into a good meal and a well-set table.
My mother was mixing and matching tablescapes long before I knew there was such a thing called 'tablescaping'. If the dishes that have been passed down to us are any indication, my grandmothers and great-aunts were doing so as well.
I think that is why I enjoy tablescaping so much. It is in my blood.
When I set my tables on holidays I always try to include pieces that have been passed down to me.
It is kind of like having those we loved still there with us at the table.
My mother taught us that you do not have to be celebrating a special occasion to set a good table.
The "everydays" of life are just as important and the special days.
Then the "special days" can be made even a bit sweeter.
Like using a collection of tableware that has been pieced together over many sales and auctions and gifts from friends.
By using pieces that match but are not really a part of the set.
By gathering up roses straight from the yard.
By using fruit cups from a grandmother and pink-dishes-that-have-been-washed-so-much-they-are-almost-clear-from a great aunt....
All arranged "just so" to honor the Queen of Tablescapes herself, with a brunch on the deck during Mother's Day weekend.
Showing her that the simple life lessons she taught us all those years were indeed learned and used over and over. Does it get any better than that?