Thursday, June 4, 2009

I discovered a new blog a few weeks ago, over at Her Southern Charm. Every Thursday, she posts a "Smallest Blessings Thursday" entry. This week, she has challenged her readers to do the same. So, for the very first time, here is my Smallest Blessings Thursday. I encourage you to think of one as well!

I have thought for about a week now about small blessings. I have been trying to have a more positive outlook on my life, and so each time I become frustrated with something, I challenge myself to turn it around into a blessing. Today, my smallest blessing is my grandma's kitchen. Growing up, we lived with my grandparents, and my grandmother always had a pot of coffee on, sweet tea in the fridge and her biscuit bowl out. My grandma made biscuits for each meal of the day (and at Grandma and Grandaddy's, there were three meals EVERY day!) and so her biscuit bowl was always out and ready for use. I vaguely remember her sitting me on the table or counter, next to where she was preparing the biscuit dough, and letting me help her with my own portion. Every so often another child would run through the house, giggling, laughing, and running on to their next adventure, and they would sneak by Grandma's bowl to get a piece of the raw biscuit dough. Yuck? Probably. But that was "our" thing with Grandma. My grandfather passed away a week after I turned 5, and after he went on to be with Jesus, I don't remember Grandma making biscuits anymore. My mama took her place in the kitchen, keeping coffee in case my aunts came in for a quick chat. I eventually grew up and moved out of my mama's house, and there was a while when I hardly ever saw my mama. You know teenagers -- they're too busy doing their own thing to be settled down! Time took us apart and I moved to England, where I met and married my husband. I got pregnant and when I was 31 weeks pregnant the military moved us back to the South, an hour away from where I grew up. I distinctly remember stepping foot in my mama's kitchen after 19 months of being away, and I felt such a peace come over me. I poured a cup of coffee and sat down to chat with my mama and my aunts. I remember feeling so, was I really supposed to be there? Even at 22, it felt so strange to me! 

Just the other day, Sara and I went to mama's for a visit. I had been outside, and walked in the front door without my mama and Sara noticing. I caught them in the kitchen. Sara was sitting on the counter next to my mama while she mixed up muffins for breakfast. My mama snuck Sara a bite of the muffin batter and let her have a sip of her coffee (before I get flagged: no, I do not like this in the least -- but my mama only gets to be a grandmother once and I'd rather choose my battles!). It seems history has a way of repeating itself with time...

Anyway, that's my smallest blessing. That is one of the best memories I have of my childhood. The original house has since burned down, but there's another one in its place and I have no doubt that it will be to Sara what my grandma's biscuit bowl and kitchen was to me: a place of warm, cozy refuge where you feel endless, unconditional love.


Casey said...

Wow what a memory! I can't imagine making biscuits for every meal, lol I don't hardly make biscuits! This is such a sweet post and I bet those memories are special for you! Thank you for sharing!

Stephanie O'Neill said...

Thanks, Casey! My grandma never passed on her recipe (I'm thinking her recipe wasn't much on measurements, anyway) because my grandaddy passed unexpectedly, and she never recovered. One of my cousins and myself have tried very hard to get it "just right" and while she almost has it, I have a long way to go. I can't imagine making biscuits three times a day, either! I groan at the thought of making them once a week!