Don’t Use the Good Dishes

Photo by Jasmin Schreiber on Unsplash

Let’s pretend it is Thanksgiving Day and the turkey is in the oven. Your house is smelling like heaven to a starving man. All your family is there, well the ones you like anyway. Your job is to set the table.

Do you get the regular dishes out or the good dishes that are supposed to be for special occasions only?

Of course, you reach for the good plates.

That works for other people, but not for me.

If you have an entire set of dishes, linens, and other things just for special occasions, you should rethink your position. What if I told you there is another way?

I know, it goes against everything you were taught about good dishes and tablecloths.

Please, set down the one-hundred-year-old gravy boat that belonged to your great-grandmother that she bought with S & H green stamps, pull up a chair at the dining room table that is used for collecting mail and sorting socks and listen to me.


Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion, being alive is the special occasion.

You should be living life as if every day is a reason to pull out the good dishes. Why are you keeping all that stuff put away to use once or twice a year? So what if a plate gets broken. What is the worst that would happen?

You might cry for the loss.

You might not have a complete set to pass on to your children or grandchildren. What you will have is more valuable than any heirloom. You will have memories. You will have happiness.

In my house, we use all the dishes. When we use any item that belonged to someone I love who is no longer alive, I have a chance to share a memory that I may have otherwise forgotten. My regular days become I remember when and the specialness of that memory is passed on to the next person I tell.

The same goes for quilts, special furniture, and jewelry. When I snuggle someone I love in a quilt made by my grandmother’s hands, I can tell them about when I was a small girl and sat under the quilt rack listening to my grandmother hum and sing. When I wear a special piece of jewelry and receive a complement “oh that is a beautiful necklace.” I can share the story of sitting next to my grandmother as she decided what to put on the day she told me of her first heartbreak. When I sit in my grandfather’s favorite rocking chair and read a book to a child, I can tell them how my grandpa sat in the same chair and told me stories too.

Life is not about things. Things are replaceable. It is the love and memories that we should pass down.

If we spend time fretting about the gravy boat we forget to make memories with those in front of us.

So use the dishes on an average Tuesday. Watch a movie wrapped in your grandmother’s favorite quilt and let your children sit in the formal living room on the guest only sofa.

Live life as the special occasion that it is.

~Lori O’Gara

Thank you for your time. You can see more of my writing here.

P.S. If you send me a letter I will write you one back.

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