"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Monday, September 30, 2013

I Like That

I love my house after we have had a family gathering. Sounds funny doesn’t it? Sounds like I am glad to see everyone has gone. I don’t mean that at all; but after all the chatter, laughter and eating, clanging dishes and the hum of the dishwasher, the stillness when everyone is gone is in high contrast. The quiet seems stronger than it did before the gathering, though in reality it should seem the same. I like that.

Yesterday, was my dad’s birthday, so I was determined we should celebrate together. I invited everyone out for dinner and birthday cake.

Now, I certainly don’t do a gathering for a thank you. I don’t do it to show off our home, or the things we have; but for some reason it certainly means a lot when someone has noticed a change we have made; or when someone comments on the yard, or garden, or something like that.  It is our own little pot of gold and it is nice to share it and to know others enjoy it, too.
My sister noticed my new little triangle planters that my husband brought home one day from a garage sale.  I don’t know why, but I liked that she had noticed.
The End of the Rainbow

My dad noticed my “purple flowers” in the front yard and said how beautiful they are. I don’t even know what they are called, some type of aster, I believe. I took a start from my sister’s plant a generation ago, it seems. I have simply transplanted them from home, to home, to home. Daddy seemed genuinely pleased when I told him we could get them a start for their home….and I like that.

My dad lit up in appreciation when he noticed some jars of pickles still sitting on the counter after doing my last canning for the season. ‘Oh! Look at those!” he exclaimed.

“You can take some home,” I told him with my own heart beaming.

“Oh, no,” he replied. “I just like to see that someone is still making Mom’s pickles.” He didn’t know that I had placed a jar in his birthday bag. And now I was really glad I had.

My dad is a task master and he is a perfectionist.  So to tell the truth, it always makes me a bit nervous to do any work for him. Yes!  Still!  After all these years!  But when a job is done right and it meets his satisfaction, there is no one, and I mean no one who shows their approval and appreciation more. So after dinner was done and desert over, I walked back to the dining room table to gather some more dishes.  Dad was telling my mom and my sister how "just about perfect" everything was. 

I learned from my maternal grandmother, that a compliment over heard means so much more than one told directly to you.  And I thought about that as I unintentionally interrupted Dad. I really didn’t mean to interrupt, but when he saw me, he let me know how much he appreciated everything. And because my dad is who he is, I knew he wouldn’t have said it, if it wasn’t true.  I like that.

I was especially pleased to see all my grown nephews. It meant a lot to me that they would come all the way out here for the celebration.  It especially warmed my heart when one of my nephews and his wife told me it had been 8 years since they had been here!  That shocked me - time goes so fast. They have been away, so it is somewhat understandable, but they both seemed so genuinely pleased to be here. It made me feel good to see their joy in being here. I liked that they would take the time out of busy schedules and this crazy life to come and celebrate a patriarch’s life. I just really like that.

My husband was gone, and my son almost missed dinner to answer a call, but this gathering was all still very much about family. And my son made it back before everyone had left the table. I was so thankful for that.

After everyone was gone, my son got another call leaving me to myself in the stillness.

I thought about the fallen birthday cake that I had embarrassingly joked about; I heard laughter reverberating in my ears though everyone was now gone.  I wondered about missed conversation, things I wanted to ask, because I only heard part of a comment across the room. I thought about the things the family seemed to appreciate - like my niece wanting something from my garden and telling me she would love some salsa…My!  How I like that! In the silence, it all felt successful. People seemed to enjoy themselves and that is my highest hope when people come to our home.

I like sharing our home.  I love it when we are gathered here.  But what I like best of all is the silence afterward – it’s my time to listen to all that they said.  I like that.





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