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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Thoughts of Thanksgiving

I'm excited to join in on the Thoughts of Home on Thursday Thanksgiving event this week and Jann's Share Your Cup. We'll be sharing share some of our favorite Thanksgiving vignettes and tablescapes and I thought I'd start today.


For me, it isn't really Thanksgiving unless I get out mom's turkey dishes (Johnson Bros., His Majesty). I remember going with mom and dad to Canada when I was maybe nine or ten to get these dishes and they've been part of my table ever since!


We used them on the last Thanksgiving we spent with my dad's cousin, Marie. Marie was my last remaining relative of the parental generation and died this past spring.


When I think of her, I think of that wonderful Thanksgiving. It was made special by many invisible guests at the table.


The table cloth came from Linda (Shoreacres). The wine coaster was a gift from my friend Jane -- it had been her parents'. And of course the silver and crystal was mom's.


There's a story about the crystal that I've shared here before. About seven years ago, Rick was in a serious bicycle accident in November. We had no Thanksgiving plans (the kids were with their mom) and planned on a quiet day. (I had a broken rib at the same time from tripping on a sidewalk crack under leaves -- be careful out there!) On Thanksgiving morning we awoke and felt relatively good. Knowing we had two sets of friends who were also spending their holiday alone, we called them spur of the moment and invited them for dinner.


Now, I agonize over things like this more often than not. But that day it was just "Please come." I didn't worry about party favors. I didn't have a centerpiece but pulled some things from the craft supplies and there it was. And then came the settings.


I knew the plates would go, of course, and the silver. But then I looked at Mom's wine glasses -- the glasses I never used because it was an out of print pattern and I was so afraid one would break. Having nearly lost Rick, though, changed my perspective. They do no one good sitting pretty in the cabinet. They must be used, for any day could be our last.


The group that day was warm and cozy. We all offered thanks, we all enjoyed dinner and fellowship in this throw-together potluck. And it was perhaps my most memorable Thanksgiving ever.


The turkey dishes make the rounds. When we have dinner at Rick's instead of my house, the dishes come along!


Our Thanksgiving is a mix of the traditional -- turkey and stuffing...


...along with new recipes, like this fabulous Sweet Potato casserole that is savory, not sweet.


We're never quite sure how we'll spend the holiday, which day family Thanksgiving will be, or where we will be, now that the kids are older.


But we do know this -- we will be with people we love and celebrate those who cannot be at the table. Our invisible guests, and giving thanks.

35 comments:

Valerie-Jael said...

Your decorations are wonderful, love those plates. I have glasses and crockery from my great aunt, and use them often. Some have broken, that's life, but they need to be used and loved. All the best, hugs, Valerie

Joanne Huffman said...

A good reminder that there is still much to be thankful for.

Victoria Zigler said...

Beautiful post!

Summer said...

Looking so lovely. The turkey dishes are so nice ♥

thepaintedapron.com said...

I love your beautiful turkey plates Jeanie, and it looks like you are adept at throwing a party last minute style! I believe everyday is Thanksgiving and a reason to celebrate!
Jenna

Katie Clooney said...

Everything is beautiful, Jeannie! Love your china and table setting. Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!

shoreacres said...

There's so much in this world to be thankful for -- and that sweet potato dish you linked to again is one of those little things. I'd forgotten about that, and now I have it front and center again. Even on a regular, weekday night, it's a wonderful dish. I made it once -- I don't know why I never made it again. But now I will!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Jeanie,
This is so touching to me. By the time we arrive at the age you and I are, there are many things that have come and gone in our lives. Your table setting is perfect and this sweet potato dish sounds wonderful, thank you for the link too!
Looking forward to you joining us tomorrow,
Jemma

Mae Travels said...

You manage to be cheering and cheerful at the most amazing times! Thank you for this beautiful post.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

You set an incredible Thanksgiving table. I'd love to have those turkey dishes, because this is my favorite holiday of the year.

I begin on Thanksgiving, and continue through Christmas using my Grandmother's Ye Olde Curiosity Shop dishes. I used to worry about breakage, but no longer, since I really have no one else to pass them on to. I really enjoyed seeing your lovely Thanksgiving table.

Let's hope things will look bright and cheery on Thanksgiving, but I have misgivings.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I love this post, Jeanie. I needed to read this to distract myself from all the feelings I'm having today. I love that Rick's accident gave you a gift of new perspective about how to use your treasured family heirlooms.

I don't have any hand-me-downs from my parents, but I imagine I will some day because my siblings all registered for china, I think, and that's something I can't see us registering for. I know my mom has her mom's china so I would like those dishes, too, if they aren't spoken for when the time comes for her to part with them (which is not something I look forward to happening because I want my mom alive and using them for as long as possible).

This year we are celebrating Thanksgiving with Phil's mom. It's a bit of an adjustment to not celebrate holidays with my family as the foods and traditions are so different. But I know how much she treasures having us there with her, so I'm focusing on that instead of thinking about the fact that I won't have homemade GF stuffing to enjoy (my mom always makes me my own stuffing).

And thanks for sharing that sweet potato dish - that's right up my alley! I need to bookmark it and make it for a holiday gathering in the future!

Jeanne Washburn said...

What a lovely heartfelt post, Jeanie. The turkey dishes are beautiful with such special memories. I will remember your thought that Thanksgiving is "made special with many invisible guests at the table"...thank you for sharing.

Janet said...

Jeanie, I'm sure an invitation to your home for dinner would be a celebration no matter if it was a holiday or not. Putting together a last-minute Thanksgiving...you must be a miracle worker!! Your table settings look fantastic. I hope this year your holidays are just as special as you.

Sandra Cox said...

What beautiful table settings.
I'm sorry for your loss of Marie. Hugs.

The French Hutch said...

Jeanie, your family Thanksgiving dishes are wonderful. To have and enjoy special things is such pleasure. I think sometimes the spur of the moment plans are the best, no fuss or stress making the perfect meal or table and just enjoying the company of family and friends. I love how those are traveling dishes, making even more memories. Our family will all be spending time with other family so under no pressure to make any plans here. Thanks for sharing your dishes and stories.........

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

This is a beautiful post, Jeanie, and oh, I needed it so much today. Your dishes and table settings are lovely. And I can just feel the warmth that you must share with every guest at your table.

My name is Erika. said...

This post reminds me of how much I love thanksgiving and can't wait for it. Those dishes are great and the stories you shared were wonderful. Hugs erika

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Hello dearest Jeanie!

Oh, those were the days, to be around a family table. And the dishes, I remember those on my aunt's table. I've had the good fortune of experiencing California style Thanksgiving dinners, New England style (Indian pudding) and then our modified version here in the midwest where we usually eat alone. But either way, there is SO much to be thankful for. Enjoy.

Kathleen Grace said...

What a beautiful post! I love the dishes, the tablecloth, and the story of your beautiful crystal. I always say, it does no good to have beautiful things if we are afraid to use them. For the first time in almost 30 years we will not host Thanksgiving, we have the privilege of driving with our youngest daughter and her husband to spend the holiday with our oldest daughter and her husband. I am so excited! Things change when our kids grow up, but what matters is spending the day with the people we love so much.

Danielle L Zecher said...

Your Thanksgiving decor is beautiful!

I love the story about the year that it was last minute, but still so special. Thanksgiving changes a little for us every year too, since hubby works in the emergency services and we have to work around his schedule.

La Table De Nana said...

How kind to share with others..having accidents or being ill sure puts a lot of things into bright and clear perspective.
Your mom's heirlooms are in beautiful hands.

Friko said...

Right, let’s see if this works.

Friko said...

Good, it did, so now I can fully comment on this lovely post.
Sensible of you to stay away from politics, I have seen so many sad posts today I need something cheery. And your post certainly is that.
Gorgeous table settings. I always enjoy a well laid table with pretty crockery and glasses, somehow it makes eating and drinking an even greater pleasure. Plain settings are all very well for everyday but a special occasion demands special treatment.

Jenny Woolf said...

We don't have Thanksgiving here of course but I am always interested to see more about it, and those turkey plates are really cool! I don't have enough space to store plates for special times of year, so just to be contrary, I rather like the idea of doing that!

I chose to stay away from politics too in my latest post - just like you. I know that when people are really upset they can't focus on much else except what is bothering them - but on the other hand, there's a snowballing effect, when the more you read about it the more wound up you get. It is a little easier for me to step back because it is not my country's election (although goodness knows, we will be enormously affected) but also because I used up some of those kind of feelings over our Brexit vote, which was definitely the most profound political shock of my life.

We must all look ahead and hope and remember when the doom sayers get too loud that nobody can actually foretell the future!

Laura Beth said...

Stunning tablescapes. I had never heard that term before; I love it! Yours are gorgeous. :)

Marilyn Miller said...

I adore your dishes and enjoy one teacup in that pattern all month long. The crystal is just gorgeous. But the special thing in all of this is friendship and sharing an impromptu Thanksgiving day with dear friends.

Sandra Cox said...

Can't wait to see what you do this year;)

Sarah said...

How special to have your mom's turkey dishes. You set a beautiful table, and it must be joyous for your family to gather around this table.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

What a lovely post. The turkey dishware is so pretty. Truly we all have so much to be thankful for. So glad to hear you are using the lovely wine glasses. life is too short to not enjoy them. The sweet potato dish sounds tasty.

Bella Rum said...

Your table is welcoming and elegant. I love the crystal. You really have a knack for making thing inviting. I clicked on that link for the sweet potato casserole and saved it lickity split. It looks so pretty and delicious, and the recipe looks easy. I do love easy. Thanks for posting the link.

Ramblings of a Southern Girl ~ Rhonda G said...

Your table setting is beautiful and inviting! I love that is filled with heirloom treasures, especially the pretty dishes! ...thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving the sweet comment on my last post! Hope you'll drop in again! :) ~Rhonda

Red Rose Alley said...

This looks like a wonderful Thanksgiving feast. Your mom's dishes are so special, what a treasure they are. How nice that you remember taking a trip with your mom and dad and getting those dishes. Oh, I can't wait for all the goodies this Thanksgiving, especially the pumpkin pies. ;)

~Sheri

Jann Olson said...

Sounds like that was a wonderful Thanksgiving. No worries, other than your dear hubby's accident; of course. Glad he's okay! Of course I love your dishes! The family connection make them even more special. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Lynne said...

Lovely . . .
I liked thinking about the invisible guests . . ,
Thanksgiving with turkey china, silver and crystal is my style . . .
I love to get out the pretties!
Off we will go to my daughter, son in law's home where he brines a turkey,
weaves it with a smoky bacon, stuffs it with my dressing . . .
And three families share all their favorites.
It too is
Lovely . . .

Decor To Adore said...

A beautiful table filled with beautiful memories. Your moms crystal is simply stunning.

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