Perhaps I better back up a bit.
My parents' combined families included ten siblings. Growing up, that was a lot of aunts and uncles. When we moved from the deep South to the Midwest, one of the things we missed the most was getting together with our extended families. Sad to say, I am down to one aunt who lives a 1000 miles away, but who still loves me almost as much as I love her.
On one of our visits a few years ago, Aunt Roz gave me a lovely, and delicate crystal bud vase, overlaid with gold, that she and Uncle Cleo received from a friend for their 50th wedding anniversary. The vase had survived the flight home and three family moves. It's been a delightful and treasured addition to our dining room. At least it was.
I love our dining room, well, I love having a dining room. Ours is starting to get a little small for our still growing family, and for family and friend gatherings. I really love our dining room furniture. The table is long enough for Tom, me, the three kids and their pluses to sit comfortably. We can sit comfortably, it's the moving around the room that gets a little tricky.
A few years ago, Tom and James put ceramic tile in the dining room. Gorgeous! They did such a terrific job that a friend who does flooring installations even complimented them. The only thing is, the grooves between tiles aren't so great on chairs. So, felt pads on the feet, felt pads off the feet, leaving yucky, sticky residue on the floor. What's a girl to do?
The girl went to the local home decorating discount store to pick up a couple of things and found a rug that's just the right size, on sale, recycled products... Before putting down the rug, better to clean the floor really well, right? Oh, and put the leaf in the table, which needs to be cleaned a little since it's been in the closet. Well, since I have out the Pledge wipes, may as well do a little extra cleaning.
Here's why taking a shortcut, just because you're in a hurry, doesn't always work. Instead of taking everything off the top of a cupboard, including...wait for it...THE ANNIVERSARY VASE, I thought I'd just do a couple of in and out swipes. WRONG!!! It was one of those slow motion moments. The tinkling of splattering glass and gold sounded louder in my head than my yelling.
Tom came running, thinking I'd incurred a major injury or an aneurysm, I'm sure. But no! All he saw was a broken vase, and his man brain spoke before his husband brain thought, "Is that all?" AAARRRGGGHHH!!! "Is that all?"
Tom saw a broken hand-me-down vase. I saw one more tie to my extended family, with all its love and memories, broken. All I could say to him was, "I can't get that back!"
So, here's the deal, as I sat calmly writing on the couch a while later. No, I can't get that back, because it's something I can never lose. Aunt Roz probably forgot she ever gave me the vase. If it had been invaluable to her, she may not have given it anyway.
But it's not really about things, is it? It's about their meaningfulness. I'm really sad the vase was broken and is lost forever, but it reminds me that the love and memories we share with our families is what's truly important.
Next Saturday, we're having a party to celebrate the release of my first book. And you know what? If my house isn't magazine perfect because I didn't clean every nook and cranny, but our home resonates with people who love on each other while making new memories, I think I'll be okay with that.