The Gathering

With Thanksgiving patiently waiting but a week away, I find myself slipping into a state of consciousness that seems as familiar to me as my favorite pair of pajamas. There’s just something so tranquil and peaceful about Thanksgiving. Mother Nature has mysteriously cast a sleepy spell over her landscape as the sun hangs low and lazy wrapped in a thick gray blanket of sky. I find myself slowing down and turning inward for a rest.

Even as a little girl, I would find refuge in the warmth of my house after spending so many long days dancing in the sun.

It’s as if I have permission somehow to stand still long enough to reflect and appreciate and relish life; to taste the memories that are tucked away in my mind; and to see the new ones that are being made in the moments before me.

Still to this day I remember looking forward to the beautiful Thanksgiving table that my mom would so lovingly set. Each piece of the table had a meaning, a memory or a story to tell. The linens, the dishes, the recipes – they had all been gathered…gathered through the years and passed along to the next table, to the next generation who would come together and reflect and remember all the “who”‘s and “how they came to be”‘s.

So now I find myself gathering.

And reflecting.

And remembering.

As I set the table and make the place cards.

As I carefully fetch and clean my grandmother’s etched glasses.

And place them ever so carefully, next to my dishes.

As I tenderly fold the napkins which so cleverly hide…

the crisp dollar bills that are tucked inside for all to find.

Just as my grandmother did and her mother before her.

And I become aware that I am gathering the cherished memories and the moments as well as the dishes and the place cards.

I realize that I am setting the table for the memories of tomorrow.

I find peace in knowing that we will all be gathering here at the table – the ones who are present as well as the ones who have passed.

Gathering around the Thanksgiving table, set with love by the hands of many.

Wishing you a blessed gathering this Thanksgiving.


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  1. Posted November 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely post and tradition, Wendy. Thank you for sharing! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – James and I were married the day before. :)

  2. Posted November 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful! Such thoughtful and eloquent sentiment!

  3. Posted November 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Wendy….that made me CRY!

    And I love those brown dishes!

  4. Posted November 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    It’s going to be a hard thanksgiving for you, Wendy, without your Grandma. I’m so sorry but I do love that these traditions are living on through you!

  5. Posted November 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Such beautiful memories…and photos!

  6. Posted November 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    so beautifully written Wendy; your mama and grandmother would be very proud of you! (((BIG HUGS)))

  7. Posted November 18, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Love the tradition. Love the dishes, spirit, and YOU.

    You are my soul-sister. xo

  8. Posted November 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Blown away by the eloquence and tenderness of this post. You’re a writer of the highest caliber, Wendy.

  9. Posted November 18, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Lovely, Wendy. Hoping you and yours have a very memorable Thanksgiving.

  10. Christa
    Posted November 18, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    This is so beautiful! The best one yet!

  11. Posted November 18, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    such lovely sentiments – i feel the very same way. bravo!

  12. Posted November 19, 2010 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    What lovely traditions you are passing on to your girls my friend and I love the leaves for place cards. This is the sweetest post :)

  13. Posted November 19, 2010 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    What a lovely, lovely post and thoughts! I also have such fond memories of setting the Thanksgiving table with my mother – Thanksgiving, more than Christmas, because the whole focus was on family, without the frenzy of the gifting. Also love your brown transferware. Glad to have found you (via #FF on twitter by @socalgapeach)

  14. Posted November 19, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    simply beautiful! lovely sentiments, gorgeous photos all the best for the holiday!

  15. Steve
    Posted November 21, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Wow…that was beautiful and so thoughtful. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.

  16. Elizinwfb
    Posted November 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Love it, would you share the brand and name of your dishes?

    • Posted November 23, 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Hi Elizabeth!
      Of course, I’d be happy to share the dish info with you! I happened to pick some of these up at T.J. Maxx a few years ago, the name brand is, Clayton Tableware (made in Malaysia). I have some antique dishes that aren’t in this photo, the name of those is, Royal Stafford, they’re made in England. These types of dishes are usually referred to as “transfer-ware” I also have them in blue & red! Hope that helps you!

  17. Posted November 22, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful post! I love the dollar tradition :)
    I can’t wait for Thursday even more now!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  1. By 52 Sundays; November 21, 2010 on November 22, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    [...] The Gathering – Wenderly [...]

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