Where The Lone Star State Meets The Puget Sound
A Fine Mesh Of Two Great Styles

Monday, January 2, 2012

Thoughts Of Joy

I have been forcing paperwhites for many years and this is the first time they have failed to bloom before Christmas.  I have not given up hope!  They are forming buds and I should have blossoms by next week.  It's sort of a post-Christmas surprise to help beat January blues. 

Almost 15 plastic bins full of Christmas decor neatly packed and stored away for next year~ Yay! All vestiges of Christmas are now out of sight; except for the Joy banner.  I felt like keeping it around awhile longer as a reminder of how blessed my life is.   I have been pondering the notion of joy today {New Year's Day}  I've been thinking about the concept of joy versus fun or even happiness. 

I am certainly not a philosopher but it seems to me that joy is a deep and abiding emotion.  It is not fleeting nor anecdotal.  It is not superficial nor synonymous with instant gratification.

According to Meriam Webster,  joy is defined as, the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desiresIs it heresy to argue with a dictionary? Because I strongly disagree with this definition.

If asked the question, "What brings you joy?", what would your answer be? Probably not something materialistic or expendable, right? More likely your answer would involve something animate or alive, because in my experience true joy is almost always rooted in relationship; be it spiritual, family, friends, pets, or even a profound encounter with the natural world (ask any avid gardener about this).

So late this afternoon I had the good idea, though last minute, to set a special table for Larry and me as we start yet another joyful year together. I gathered things that are of special sentiment to us~ his mother's china for one.  I was lucky to have been given all 12 place settings plus every serving piece you can imagine. 

I used an old mattelasse bed coverlet as a tablecloth.  I love its pure-white essence and the texture it adds to the table.

I embellished the napkins with some gold ribbon and tucked in a favorite picture. Yes, I was once a brunette!

The wine goblets have been with us for our entire 30 years of marriage; we picked them out together when we became engaged. We bought the salt and pepper shakers at the Smithsonian Museum in some decade gone by. It's hard to believe that after 7 houses, most of which were complete makeovers, this salt and pepper duo is still gracing our table.

Larry bought this brass flatware with rosewood handles in Thailand long before I was in the picture.  He gave the set to me when we got married.  It was such a sweet gesture and it still warms me to think about it.  And oh my goodness, what a set it is! Dinner forks, salad forks, soup spoons, tea spoons, large knives, appetizer knives, salad tongs... get the picture?

As an extra touch I found Scripture to support my concept of joy.  After printing, I mounted them on pretty paper as an accent for our place settings.  An alternate idea would be to find some lovely poetry. Google to the rescue! If you really want to add a little romance to your dinner table, wander over here~ Love Sonnets.

2011 was a tough year for me. I lost my dear friend, I lost my dog, and hardest of all, I lost my dad. I had a host of health challenges and a myriad of clinical tests. But it was also a year of blessings, as each year seems to be. I have come to believe that there is joy to be had, even when good fortune seems to be beyond our grasp.  I have resolved in this new year to let joy guide my days, come what may.  I hope you will join me in this endeavor.

Blessings to each of you in 2012!


I am joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday. Enjoy!


  1. What a wonderful table of memories! Your photography is beautiful, and I especially loved the shot of the about-to-bloom paperwhites. They will be glorious soon!

  2. Beautiful! Love your tags! Happy New Year!

  3. Beautiful table. Happy New Year! ~ Sarah

  4. Thank you all for such nice comments and for visiting my blog today. I feel honored.

  5. Hello!
    I'm your newest follower :)
    I just love your S&P shakers and your plates are beautiful!! A very lovely setting!
    ~Happy New Year~
    Aledia @ Plum Perfect

  6. Dana,
    Although your photos and decor are beautiful, what I really appreciate is what they represent as you begin the new year. During a past year that was our darkest and most challenging ever, my husband and I consciously chose to seek joy in the midst of all of the turmoil, fear, and pain. Joy, not simply pleasure. That choice brought balance and insight to a very difficult time. There's a reason we sing Joy to the World; it's the desire to find peace through mutual understanding and focusing on the positive. So, in addition to the beauty and love that are so evident in your household, I wish you and Larry joy throughout this new year. Thanks for another inspiring blog entry.

  7. Nothing makes a blog writer feel more gratified than comments. Thanks again for leaving your thoughts.

  8. Very nicely done. The decor looks amazing! Happy New Year! New to your blog.

  9. Beautiful table, Dana. Those S & P shakers are gorgeous! I love your JOY banner! Happy New Year!

  10. Hi,

    What a great table. Memories stays forever.

    SO sweet. Happy New Year.

    Greetings from Stockholm,

  11. Oh Dana, this is a precious post! I can see how many it has touched! You provided a sweet reminder of God's love for us and the season we are in! The paperwhites are lovely! The sweet story of each item is wonderful! Thanks for sharing such a "joyful" story! I'm just lovin' your view! Gorgeous!