I’m not sure whether I was shaking my fist at the flu bug that has invaded my home, or just reminding myself that despite more than a few dusty picture frames, a tinge of domesticity does inescapably flow through my veins. Whatever it was that came over me yesterday afternoon, I ended up with a newly decorated dining room table. Perhaps “newly” is the wrong word. There wasn’t much new to my choice of accoutrements. It was all old stuff – because I like it like that – because whatever doubt there may be about domesticity in my veins, the sentimentality running there, is undeniable.
First, I used the tablecloth my husband found last spring when my mom came to visit and we decided to scavenge every thrift and used book store within 20 miles of Payson, Arizona. Mom was supposed to have come at Christmas, but she opted for pacemaker and brain surgery instead. I think I get my creativity from her.
The centerpiece upon the cloth is the silk-leaf-filled ceramic pitcher that I won at a Labor Day party at my mother-in-law’s house. I think it was the last of her famous parties we enjoyed before we moved from Oklahoma to Oregon. My husband tells me he hates that vase. I suspect he’s just bitter that I out BINGOed him.
Then there are the tall, heavy, antique candlesticks that my husband won at an auction at our church. The church was raising money for the mission team to go help out the dear souls on the Colville Indian Reservation in eastern Washington. Our son went on the mission trip a couple of years later. He came back a different man.
The final touches are the framed “Welcome” signs made with fallen autumn leaves from our Oregon neighborhood. My daughters hunted them like treasure under the drizzly skies. I was in charge of coming up with a craft project for a girls’ club to which they belonged at the time. Among all the gifts our Creator gave to teach us about beauty and creativity and the miraculous cycle of life, the crimson leaf speaks volumes – even from the confines of my dining room table.