Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's Only China, Folks!

(Another oldie, but goodie, from my Facebook note stash, January 2010.)

There are times in life when things happen to remind you of what’s important. The value you place on something turns out to be less than you thought. I have a built-in china cabinet in my kitchen that displays my fine china and glassware which only gets used on holidays. The rest of the year the dishes sit there with no purpose whatsoever except to be admired. Thus was the case on New Year’s Eve.

At the stroke of midnight, Josh ran to the kitchen to get glasses out of the china cabinet so we could toast the New Year while I got the sparkling grape juice from the refrigerator. Unbeknownst to him, a shelf in the cabinet was missing a securing screw underneath, which I had realized the Christmas before. But in the hustle and bustle of putting the Christmas meal on the table, I promptly forgot about the screw. Josh put two glasses on the kitchen counter and turned to get the third. Suddenly, the whole shelf gave way on him and to his horror, the dishes started sliding toward the floor. Remember the old movies with the bogus machine gun sound effects? That’s how it sounded as the china struck the floor, one piece after another. Josh did the only thing he could. He clutched the one glass and tried to brace the shelf with his body. He glanced over his shoulder at me as cups ricocheted around him. The look on his face said it all. He was mortified. “Oh Mom, I’m so sorry.” I reassured him that it didn’t matter. At that moment, the china meant nothing to me. After all, a set of dishes couldn’t stack up to my feelings for my son. The missing screw and my faulty memory had set up the perfect storm for him.

We swept up the debris and I said, “What a way to ring in the New Year.” Josh laughed and said, “I felt like I was in the middle of machine gun fire.”

Ironically, the most expensive pieces, my teapot and the cream and sugar dishes, were undamaged. They balanced tenuously on the shelf that was askew. I still have most of the set and will eventually replace the missing pieces. The three glasses were unharmed, as well. So we raised our glasses of bubbly in a toast and all agreed that we’d never forget this New Years Eve.

I realize now as I stare at the empty shelf, the cabinet is nothing more than a storage place for items that hold no real value to my daily life. How many other things in my life are like that also? Maybe it’s time to take inventory!

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