|Autumn colors and natural elements|
|Pretty painted mugs for sharing coffee and tea with family and friends.|
|Blankets and throws...warmth and comfort.|
|A gift from my Chinese daughter in law. A symbol of her love, culture and of ceremony.|
|Old books. Love of literature, knowledge and learning. And though not shown, there are many, many, many Bibles and lexicons in our home because faith is everything.|
When I was just in my twenties, one of my first jobs was as an aide for Miss Leah Finkelstein. Leah was a 90-year-old spinster; a former librarian who went blind in her old age. We who treasure books can just imagine what a blow this must have been to a woman whose life centered around literature! But Leah never complained. Though completely blind, Leah had memorized each detail of her little studio apartment which was situated in a renovated carriage-house near the university. Every morning when I came to work, she would feel her way from her little cot to a well-worn armchair in a gabled window. Once comfortably seated, I'd hand her a mug of her favorite beverage; café au lait.(Prepared exactly to her specifications.) With a contented sigh and a little smile, Leah would warm her gnarled hands with the mug. She'd sniff the coffee and take a long sip. Then she would say, "I can feel the sun on my shoulders, the warmth of this mug, and I have had a long and wonderful life. When I go to meet my Maker, I will have nothing to complain about. Just a bouquet of thank-yous for all of the blessings in my life."
Leah loved to tell me of her childhood in the late 1800's. Her family were emigrants; Jews. Though not rich by any means, Leah used to say that her family had three things that every fine home should have...a dictionary, a finely tuned piano, and a gentle, steady horse. These of course did not preclude things such as love and kindness. They were symbols of the family's love for music and education. The horse of course, was necessary to her family for transportation, and more than this, the faithful animal was much-loved as a family pet.
Times have changed but still, we often display items in our home that symbolize the things that mean the most to us.
If you asked me to list only 3 items necessary for a fine home, I think I might say to you...
"A well-worn Bible, photographs of family, and a sweet-tempered dog."
What 3 things would you name?