I have a thing about dishes.
Just open my cupboards or observe my smile
whenever I use one of my grandmother’s favorite serving dishes.
If those tidbits aren’t enough to
verify my dish
I even wrote about worrying about bowls
a year ago.
For Mother’s Day, Carl gave me the set of dishes I had
They aren’t fine china, I’m talking Target,
which is more my style.
The set of dishes simply made me smile.
Plus the bowls were deep and wide just the way
Carl likes them.
Our everyday dishes had been held in the clutches
of young fumbling fingers
and taken countless tumbles to the floor,
contents ruined but never the plates.
The virtues of unbreakable dishes is undeniable
but the appearance doesn’t exude a lot of joy.
Hooray for new plates, cups and bowls.
Yet a week later the box sat in the corner
I wasn’t sure where to put them.
Each time I opened a cupboard, I was faced
with removing dishes already occupying
For the most part, each plate, bowl or mug
no matter its condition held meaning and a memory.
Dishes are meant to be filled and emptied.
Each one reminded me of past feasts and perhaps
even some times of famine.
Are there relationships sitting on your life shelf
solely as memories?
Is it time to gently lift them from the shelf
and store them away for a time?
My unbreakable dishes served their purpose for
a time and I honor all the hard knocks they took
at the hands of our family.
I am thankful for the way they supported my food ;)
At this moment,
for whatever reason,
these dishes rarely grace my table.
At this moment.
For now, I will carefully store them away.
Finally I opened the box.
I suds away
the grime of the packaging.
Then set them out to dry.
I looked at the wooden rack full of stoneware.
“Do these dishes look like me?”
“Do they look unsophisticated?”
“Would I see these plates in _____________’s house?”
There are times when I second guess myself.
Often I fall into the trap of believing I must look like everyone else.
The truth is my plates are different from yours because
they are designed for my table,
Do your dishes look like you?
And while I am asking all these questions,
what’s on your plate?
Could there be so many servings the
image on the surface is obscured?
Will any sudden movement cause the contents of your mug
to splash over the rim?
Are you realizing my dish craze is really more about being
crazy about life?
The plates you like,
the plates you share and the morsels you
decide to place upon those plates is true of life.
Life is about filling and emptying.
In our home, we are determined to use our stuff.
It hasn’t always been this way,
observe Exhibit A.
I am changing.
We are using and filling our plates.
Even when Caleb asks,
“Where are the old, easy to carry plates?”
(Trust me, they are still close at hand.)
We are slurping out of cups and bowls.
We are reaching towards the dishes on our shelves,
scattering them on tablecloths
so they can be
and the cycle
We risk the occasional chipped or broken dish,
much like we enter the fray of life each day.
We aren’t saving these dishes for special occasions or only for the special people.
We are the special people and when you cross our threshold we deem
you special as well.
We embrace the old and are grateful for the new.
One day the new will become old as well,
old doesn’t have to mean covered in dust,
it should convey constant use and affection.
Open the cupboards of your life and take a peek.
What makes you smile?
As silly as it may sound,
what bowl is deep and wide like you?
What needs to be taken off your plate?
Now gather around your table and don’t miss
this wonderful feast called life.