I had been pondering much before Christmas. Some thoughts on what I would like this blog to become in the next year. What areas of my life I wanted to focus on more. Where I needed to let go. Goals big and small. And my "Word" for 2014.
I wrote out a few words but none seemed to encompass what I desired for the upcoming year. I wanted to revisit old skills, simplify a little more here and there, focus even less on technology, streamline meals, and as the verse shown above (and always on the sidebar) says... "ask for the Ancient paths".
What word would bring to mind all of these things?
Well, it was while watching a favorite PBS special called Heirloom Meals that I had a Eureka moment... Heirloom! But would it cover all those ponderings for the next year? I curled up in the overstuffed chair in my Study and wrote out a list two pages long in a Steno notebook, ideas all relating to the word... Heirloom.
Oh, my... there is more than enough to write about. Words began to swarm around my brain waiting to come in for a landing as if they were awaiting their turn to land at O'Hare. Now to have them land in such an order as to make sentences and paragraphs easier to come by.
What does the word mean? I looked at various meanings and liked this one from The Free Dictionary online:
heir·loomI was watching a TV show recently when the cook was mixing spices in a mortar and pestle. She shared how it was an antique and then with a twinkle in her eye, looked up and told us she was not antique, she was vintage.
1. A valued possession passed down in a family through succeeding generations.2. An article of personal property included in an inherited estate.3. A cultivar of a vegetable or fruit that is open-pollinated and is not grown widely for commercial purposes. An heirloom often exhibits a distinctive characteristic such as superior flavor or unusual coloration.
I like vintage. :)
When I think of an heirloom, I always think of an object of personal value. Perhaps not a valuable antique but an object that makes me think of something or someone I care about... or perhaps a time of life which was particularly grace filled and lovely. :)
Most of our inherited furniture is vintage (that being older than say 50 years) but a couple are true antiques (older than 100 years). Our dishes we inherited pretty much have to be antique since they were my husband's grandmother's... and he is of retirement age.
But what makes all of these items special is that they belonged to either family or friends. I don't even consider a price attached. They will be handed down to our children and not sold. When the items were divided between the three siblings after my mother-in-law passed away in a car accident in the 1990s, those none of the family wanted were sold at that time. So what is left is special to each of us.
That kind of value, that type of special is what I am longing for in my life this next year. I need the old ways, those which are tried and true. I want to rediscover old gifts as well as new talent. I need quiet in a tech filled world filled with... noise.
I need to turn off the television and read while giving full attention to a book or article. I desire enjoying a project from the beginning and through the middle... instead of quickly striving to finish until the end.
I must return even more to real food such as my grandparent's grew in their Kentucky garden before I was born. And when I eat a hamburger, may it actually be made from an animal who knew a moo.
Heirlooms are real and my heirlooms are not plastic.
I like to write using a keyboard more than on paper, one of the few areas where technology is preferred. I type faster than I think. That is fine as long as one proofreads carefully. But I need to sit at my desk with a real pen and write on lined paper as I did when I was twelve.
As I write, the aroma of carrots and onions and soup bones roasting in the oven has made its' way to this end of the house. They will come together with filtered water and a small cut of beef to create the basis of soup. Come Sunday afternoon, there will be added fresh carrots, cubed potatoes, a can of green beans, some corn, and perhaps some of the tomatoes frozen from my garden last summer.
The same soup my mother made and I suspect her mother made and her mother... and my daughter.
So you get a drift of my ponderings for the coming weeks. With these come a simple change in Sunday Afternoon Tea posts as they will... for awhile... center around my search for an heirloom life.
Just how that would look if one tried to frame it in pictures or words, I am not completely certain. But part of the process is to enjoy it as I go and not rush through just to check of another item on my To Do list.
I look forward to the journey. I hope you join me.