I was recently at a friend's home who showed me an amazing thing. It wasn't anything flashy or expensive, it was just her kitchen cupboard.
On the shelves were all of the dishes she'd collected over the years from her family and in her travels. It was then that I realized how important a cupboard really is-- it contains the entirety of a family's history.
When our loved ones are no longer with us, the things with low economic value but high sentimental significance are always the things people want the most. Often, these items are the dishes on which favorite meals have been eaten for generations.
I think about my mother who had dishes dating back to her great grandmothers from England and Germany, stoneware and whiteware that traveled all the way from Europe to Kansas to Oregon.
In your own life, choose pieces that you'll use over and over again at family dinners and holidays and celebrations. They bring a special meaning to the meal and the moment. Every time they're used, those pieces will be imbued with a sense of history and soul. Who needs to wrestle with the boxes in a dusty attic to find memories when you can just open the cupboard instead?
-Look in your family's cupboard. There are treasures to be found that will create an instant sense of history.
-Create your own traditions with new dishes, for birthdays and the holidays that are used each season.
-Set your table and eat together as a family as often as you can. This ritual keeps a family close and brings meaning to the quotidian life.
-If you don't have a family yet or are away from your family, invite friends over for weekly meals. Sunday brunch is a great place to start!