Yesterday as I made coconut cream pies from Grandma’s old recipe, I thought about her and the legacy she left behind. Nothing was more important to her than family. I can’t begin to count the number of times I heard her say, “I have the best family.”. She wasn’t bragging; she honestly believed that. Over the years she taught me so much. How to make “sweet tea”, how to iron, infant care, how to make grape jelly, and such intangibles as being content and as she called it, being “peaceable”. She left me her Bible, such a cherished possession, and if it’s a rare day in which I haven’t thought of her during the day, I am reminded at bedtime when I read from it.
I think, too, of other family no longer with us and what an impact they had in my life. As I prepared to have my parents and kids over for dinner last night I purposely kept in mind lessons I learned from my dear Aunt Hazel. She was, without a doubt, the most hospitable person I’ve ever known. One of these days I intend to write a whole post about her but for now just let me say that she taught me that fussing too much makes people uncomfortable. I still have a long way to go in that regard but I’m trying to find that sweet spot. I like a clean house and enjoy making things look pretty, especially for company. But in the past I’ve worn myself out in preparation to the point where I was too tired to truly enjoy whatever I’d been doing it all for. Yesterday as I got ready for everyone to come over I kept up an inner dialog, reminding myself of what was truly important. Good food, a pretty table and a clean guest bathroom were my focus. No one needed to come upstairs and see the clumps of Shiloh hair on the carpet. No one needed to see the laundry room which could use some attention. And since it would be dark, no one would likely notice (or care) that the sliding glass door needs to be washed. I must say, I was rather proud of myself. I deliberately scaled back (no green bean casserole, layered salad, deviled eggs or candied sweet potatoes – all things I would have normally added to the meal), planned my day well, and was relaxed when everyone arrived. See? You can teach an old dog new tricks.
I am thankful for lessons learned from those who have gone before us and the legacy they’ve left behind.