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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

saving sweet memories...



This photograph captured a very sweet memory of one of the many dinners we shared with our dear (and much missed) friends and neighbors, Don & Michel, at our home in Dallas.   Judging from the glazed lemon pound cake, which was one of Don's favorites, I would guess this was his birthday dinner as I would always try to make their favorites.  I remember taking this photo at the end of the meal thinking it was such a wonderful night that I wanted to remember it forever.   I love how it is slightly blurry, and the table is in disarray-  just like a sweet memory, faded and softened around the edges.




One of my favorite personal possessions is my guest menu-book that I have had for the last 20 years- where I have kept the names of all guests/family that I have made dinner for with the date and menu,  how I decorated the table, what dishes, glasses, flatware and napkins I used.  I write down any notes about preparing the meal, any comments from the guests about the meal... .  It has become a journal of sweet, wonderful memories centered around the dining table and sharing meals.  Reading it transports me back to that memory and all the guests who have graced our table.
  I also will, on occasion, take photographs of the table before the guests arrive, but my favorite photographs are the ones I sometimes take after the meal, like the photograph above-  when the table isn't set and perfect, but the memory of one meal and one wonderful evening is captured forever.






I wish you the makings of sweet memories as you gather around the table with family and friends this Thanksgiving!
xojoan







50 comments:

  1. What a great idea! It is something different, but worth considering, to remind you of the good times. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Such a lovely idea... your guest menu book.... I am sure it is cherished reading... xv

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  3. I'm just stopping by new blogs and thought id leave a comment. Id like to wish you and your readers a very Happy Thanksgiving and the memories that go along with it. Richard from Amish Stories.

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  4. Joan,
    Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving...

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  5. Oh Joan, this was beautifully written and perfect for this time of year. The idea for a menu journal is genius! Ive never heard of it!

    Happy thanksgiving, Joan!

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  6. Oh Joan you always warm my heart!!! I love your posts and your pictures, you make such a beautiful home!!! xo your friend from New Brusnwick :)

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  7. Joan,
    Please do share some of your menus with us. I'm sure they are delightful! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  8. Oh how I wished that I had done this for the past 42 years of my marriage. After 18 moves, my hubbies 26 military career, 4 kids and 13 grandkids I don't remember what I fed anyone.

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  9. I love this idea!! What a wonderful way to remember special times with friends and loved ones, plus a good reference when you need an idea for a good meal that worked, Thanks for sharing, this is worth sharing, indeed,
    kathysue

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  10. Oh I love this idea and I'm going to start one for our new country home that we just took possession of last week. Thanks for the beautiful inspiration! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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  11. What a lovely post and an inspiring idea, Joan. Hope your thanksgiving is another wonderful memory to be added to your book.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  12. what a lovely idea joan. I'm so thankful to have "met" you. donna

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  13. i too keep a guest book and it is one of my favorite things! hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving holiday and that many more cherished memories are made with the ones you love!

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  14. Oh, talk about things to be thankful for! Happy thanksgiving!

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  15. Your soft sweet out of focus photo immediately triggered a flashback of Barbara Streisand singing Memories and The Way We Were.

    It must have been a very special evening. You are blessed to have such good friends and memories.

    I'm sure there will be many more...

    Cheers,
    John

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  16. Your memory book is a lovely idea. I am afraid I would never have the time to document everything. I am not that good at managing my time and am usually working up to the very last minute before guests arrive. But look what memories you have now because you were able to keep these records and photos.
    Have a lovely Thanksgiving, Joan.
    Best...Victoria

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  17. I love your idea of a dining journal. What a wonderful way to remember so many times with family and friends gathered around the table. Happy Thanksgiving wishes to you from Canada! Pamela

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  18. Victoria- I do the same thing- going up until the guests arrive! I write in the book the next day (or the next day after that;) from the dinner! I really only occassionally take photos, but when I do they are fun remembrances. I also tuck "thank you' notes from guests into the book!

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  19. What a wonderful idea and would be a great gift for a bridal shower (starting with the shower itself). I don't keep a journal but for years I have taken a picture of the Christmas tree after the kids are in bed with all the presents and lights all aglow. Happy Thanksgiving.

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  20. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and Dan.

    Carolyn

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  21. I'm not sure I could ever be that organized ... lol! What a fabulous way to hold onto the evening and the memory. Maybe tucking in a photo here and there would be a lovely touch as well.

    The image really does bring back an event, doesn't it.

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  22. What a wonderful idea keeping a journal like that! I'm terrible about doing things like that.
    Your picture is wonderful and I agree with your thoughts on it.
    Wishing you a warm and cozy Thanksgiving. Liz

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  23. Joan, Dan, and Ella: What a great idea; I will have to give my niece a book for her wedding shower so that she can keep a log of her dinners. It will be fun to see how they (dinners and couple) evolve over the years. I wish you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving! Cindy

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  24. Joan, Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! Sending you a photo of the fam soon....I keep forgetting!

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  25. Awwwwww, what a touching post. Seeing your photo reminds me of times past having thanksgiving and special meals or moments with loved ones. Sometimes, planned or not, some moments are so special you want to burn them into your memory... those are the times that make all the struggles we go through worth it... Nice to be reminded of that

    Cindy

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  26. Joan, How DO you do it all? I love that idea. I am always amazed at all you accomplish, how thoughtful and considered everything has been - and how patient you are. A true inspiration in every way. I am thankful to have discovered your blog - and you.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    Carin from Pennsylvania

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  27. I love the idea of a journal...memories of what we served can become a little foggy in our minds, shadowed by the fun and fellowship that abounds during a meal. Taking pictures after the meal is a fabulous idea and I am going to try that! Thanks so much for sharing and have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

    XO,
    Jane

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  28. I too keep a journal of menus, guests, allergies, etc. which I began keeping almost 30 years ago. As you say, looking back over the years, brings back many wonderful memories.

    Kathy

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  29. Hi Joan, I hope you, Dan and Ella have a wonderful Thanksgiving too!
    (Don't worry this snow will melt can you believe it?)

    Hugs!
    Debra

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  30. happy thanksgiving, joan!

    ashley over @
    {hookedonhickory}

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  31. Love the thought of taking the picture after the meal...after all...that is when the memories have been made :)

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  32. Dear Joan,
    I just love that. What a wonderful way to remember such moments. I look forward to the evening that I know we'll one day share around the table.
    xoTrina

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  33. What a simple yet meaningful wish which I redirect back to you.

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  34. What a wonderful idea to keep a guest menu book! I am going to steal that idea! Thanks for sharing it. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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  35. What a fabulous idea to keep a record of when and who you entertain. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Dan, and Ella!

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  36. Great idea and worthly of another detailed post. With smart phones and technology we can obtain more info on these blessed occasions and record enough to make a great book of sharing that is invaluable.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Bette

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  37. wishing you & yours an abundantly blessed thanksgiving and holiday season. thank you for sharing about the guest-menu book... i intend to begin that lovely tradition.
    -xok.

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  38. Dear Joan, your sentiments about that evening meal captured in the warm photo warm my heart. And, just as Queen V regretfully commented, I, too, wish I had kept such a log of gatherings over our 44 years of marriage. Yet, you have given me the gift of a wonderful idea for my daughter (married fro 2 years) and our son's fiancé - I shall give them each a pretty journal for Christmas this year and, with, it your words about your own.
    Thank you, Joan.
    Happy season
    Linda
    Burke, Virginia

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  39. Lovely table! Have a beautiful start of the week, Kellie xx

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  40. Thank you for your inspirations! Such a lovely home.
    Happy Holidays; looking forward to seeing your home celebrating!

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  41. You are just amazing, Joan. I am sooo pleased to have found your blog. I have entertained my family for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner the past thirty years. If only I had written our "table talk" I would have remembered the laughter, the tears, and those OMG's the dinner dad gave the three of us those awesome $500 bills. Do you know how difficult it is to try to deposit a $500 bill?
    smeholick48@hotmail.com Sandy/Ohio

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  42. What a lovely memory! I didn't take one photo! I only realized it at the end of the evening . . . I love the idea of a guest book. One of my very good friends does that, and I think I will too. I love having dinner parties with good friends.

    Once when I was worried about a spill on one of my Aunt Lillian's beautiful table cloths (she was extremely organized and graceful), she told me not to worry, the dinner stains were simply memories of happy meals, I've never worried about a table cloth stain since!

    Have a wonderful week!

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  43. It never has occurred to me to take a photo of the end of the night....what a great idea to remember time with friends and family!!

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  44. What a lovely way to savor a wonderful evening with friends...love the idea of the guestbook with the photo!!

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  45. I've now gone through your whole website and am ready for more! Loved your after-dinner photo from Dallas. Keep the posts coming; to use a commercial catch-phrase ... I'm lovin' it!

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  46. Wow! Your husband is an incredibly talented man. I'm jealous! Mine isn't so handy, but at least he makes enough money for me to buy what I want or hire it done! Works both ways, doesn't it? Love your blog and house.

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  47. ANOTHER great idea, and One I would like to start doing too. XO, Pinky

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  48. I LOVE this idea! And your journal with its red floral design is so pretty.
    Claudia

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