Thursday, March 21, 2013

With Just the Two of Them/MANN

Have you ever done something just because it seemed right and pleasing to do? This is not to achieve, to earn popular consensus or even to impress. But, just because you have the gift to communicate acceptance and show love. I saw this lived out during a mid afternoon surprise visit to old friends, a while back.

Doug and I had occasion before Christmas to drop in on some folks we hadn't seen for ten years. I went to the door first to see if they were home. After chatting for a few minutes they sent me out to the car to invite Doug to come in to 'have a bite to eat' with 'just the two of them' . I glanced behind her and saw the table formally set. An aroma of turkey filled the air. My taste buds immediately responded and I accepted her invitation.

After their gracious welcome, Doug and I sat down at their table. It was difficult to realize that what met my eyes had been 'just for the two of them'. The tall-stemmed crystal wine glasses sat to the right of warm English bone-china plates. Sterling silver cutlery placed on satin place-mats lay on a white hand-embroidered tablecloth. Linen napkins sat peaked in front of each plate. Wine rested on ice.

A centrepiece of fresh flowers adorned the table. Tall silver candles burned brightly at each end of the table. They brought an already carved duck and placed it on one end of the table and set a platter of turkey at the other end. Our hosts passed mashed potatoes, parsnips and peas followed by shredded cabbage, cranberry sauce and pickles. Freshly baked dinner-rolls peeked from a heated basket under a quilted cover.

Conversation was rich, laughter was contagious and stories continued to remind us of past experiences together. "Do you remember when you came and picked out a kitten from Tiger's litter?" she asked, "and I remember when I suggested you remove those terrible plastic flowers from your flower boxes." (I've never liked plastic flowers since - anywhere.) "And what about all those salmon-on-brown sandwiches you brought to the house," I added. One story led to another. The catch-up time was precious.

I wondered how these two dear people in their 80's would have set the table had they known we were coming? My conclusion? Just the same. They were as important to each other as we were to them. Such is love!

Donna Mann


Peter Black said...

Goodness! What breathtaking attention to detail and bountiful provision -- "just for the two of them."
Evidently your friends' intimate circle of love had remained elastic and flexible, and instantly included you and Doug, in sharing their home and bounty from their hearts.
Love . . . Heartwarming.
God bless'em -- and you both! ~~+~~

Donna Mann said...

Thanks Peter - I presided at a celebration of the man's life several years later at 88 years of age. Truly a celebration of love of God, love of country, love of the earth, and love of family.

Peter Black said...

Yes Donna, having that role is an honour, and can be a delight when each of the loves you mention have been a major focus of the departed's life.
I presided last week at such an event -- a lady who'd been very active in our local congregation during may time here as pastor (she was in her 80s). It was an unexpected privilege. ~~+~~

Carolyn Wilker said...

Donna, thanks for sharing your memories with us of that fine table set for two, and snippets of the conversation.

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