I Have Moxie!
I am a Moxie type. No getting around it. I go for the unusual, unafraid of repercussions. It’s interesting because it seems like the older I get the more Moxie I acquire. Thank goodness! I appreciate and admire the Moxie in others, too. Moxie means a lot of things; from attempting to do something serious but outrageous, to having a mind that can envision a style or event that no one in a million years would imagine. I am fascinated with those who have all types of Moxie.
The First Thanksgiving
Going back in history to the year 1602, a cargo ship named the Mayflower carried 102 passengers that were hoping to make a new life across the Atlantic Ocean. That my Darlings, took serious Moxie. And, that Moxie paved the way for what American’s acknowledge as the ‘First Thanksgiving’ in 1621. This was a harvest festival, attended by Pilgrims and Native Americans, to give thanks for a successful growing season. Without the First Thanksgiving I couldn’t bring you this story today. A story about a hostess, my daughter, who thought up an idea of how to celebrate Thanksgiving with Moxie. Her Thanksgiving celebration will stay in my mind, forever.
Before I tell my story I want to give thanks to the holiday of Thanksgiving. I am grateful and thankful to the 102 people, the Pilgrims, who sacrificed their lives to establish a new way of life in what was to become our beloved United States of America. The First Thanksgiving was known to have been a 3-day celebration with 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The celebration was a harvest feast to be thankful for all that was grown that year. This tradition would later become the national holiday known as Thanksgiving, a day to give thanks for our blessings.
Thanksgiving Is Almost Here
In 4 days families and friends will gather around their dining room table together to cut the turkey, and hopefully take a moment to give thanks for all their blessings; large and small. My ultimate concierge, America and I will fly from Rancho Mirage, California to Chicago to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. My daughter in law, Jami, will be flying in from Garden City, Idaho; a favorite spot of mine. Our grandson Scott, his wife Katie and new baby AJ are flying in from Austin, Texas. And, another grandson hopefully will fly in from New York.
I am preparing from afar and am already feeling the excitement in the air of sharing laughter and love with those I love. I am trying to dream up a way to celebrate Thanksgiving with Moxie, although I must tell you that I’ll probably never be able to, nor want to, outdo my daughter’s Thanksgiving celebration.
Where My Story Begins
Most years we fly out of Chicago the week before Thanksgiving in order to get settled in our home away from home, in California. A few weeks later, we drive to Scottsdale for our yearly Thanksgiving festive dinner with my darling daughter, Jenny, my warm and loving son-in-law, Bruce and my three grands, Skylar, Michael and Jack.
Looking back on my life as a young mother, my goal was to set an example for my daughters to follow. I taught my daughters how to make a house a home. How important the feminine touch is. They are both “hostesses with the mostest”; opening their doors with open arms. I taught by example more often than by words. Visual examples over verbal instructions was my motto.
I am always excited to spend time at Jenny’s home. Each time I walk through her front door, I feel right at home as though I have never left. And truth be known, I wish I never had to leave because love, kindness, laughter and goodness pour out of the four walls of Jenny’s home. Even the dogs give kisses to Shelly, America and me.
My story of how to celebrate Thanksgiving with moxie took place a few years ago. You will see what I mean about Jenny’s Moxie after you finish reading my musings.
My daughter Jenny is an amazing artist… she was on even the “Oprah Show.” She is a loving mother and terrific wife. However, she is neither a cook nor a housekeeper, and has told me laughingly that the next home they live in will not have a kitchen! So why was this particular Thanksgiving dinner so beautiful, delicious and meaningful? Zebra tablecloths and her guests.
Allow me to set the early morning scene the day of Thanksgiving. To begin, nothing was done! The table was unset, the grocery shopping was not completed, but there was a plan in place…and a disagreement.
My son-in-law Bruce, would do the grocery shopping and the cooking. We call him Mrs. Doubtfire! He will not let Jenny grocery shop because she spends too much money. He will not let her cook because she burns everything. But, he will let her decorate the house for Thanksgiving because she will make it a home you will never want to leave. Everyone at her table will be happy to be part of Jenny’s Thanksgiving dinner because it will have her Moxie flair.
My ultimate concierge and I arrived from out of town the evening before. Party decorations were everywhere! There was zero organization. As her mother, I was not shocked, but you probably would have been. I know Jenny, and I knew everything would be perfect 24 hours later. After all, she is her mother’s daughter.
The following morning everyone went into double-time mode; Bruce, Jenny, the children, Shelly and yours truly. Even their dogs and our pooch were engulfed in the tumult, yet everything seemed to be going well.
Jenny wanted to buy shower curtains to use as dining room tablecloths!
Bruce said, “No, Jenny. We are spending enough.”
Jenny pleaded, “These shower curtains are special.”
“Shower curtains for tablecloths?” I thought to myself, with a smile.
I pulled her aside and asked her what they looked like.
“They are cloth and the pattern is like the stripes on a zebra.” Jenny told me.
“Zebra stripes?” I repeated.
“Yes,” she answered.
‘That’s an artist for you,‘ I thought to myself… and smiled. Who in the world would ever come up with the idea of zebra striped shower curtains for a Thanksgiving dinner table? Only Jenny.
I became her partner in crime… according to Bruce
“Let’s go look,” I said with a smile and twinkle in my eye, loving her idea. Without a word she knew I was going to buy them for her. So off to Target we drove. The linens were at the back of the store, and the shower curtains she wanted to show me were on the bottom shelf. Sitting on the floor we laughed and I said in awe, “The shower curtains will make stunning tablecloths!” They were stark white with jet black stripes and I looked at this daughter of mine and said, “I love them! And I want to buy them for you as a Thanksgiving present. You sure know how to celebrate Thanksgiving with Moxie.”
A Thanksgiving to Remember
The day was beautiful and sunny and everything went smoothly. Mrs. Doubtfire cooked. Jenny and I set the dining room table. My grandchildren ran around. Dogs lounged. My ultimate concierge watched football. It was a perfect setting on a perfect day to give thanks.
Then darkness set in and guests began to arrive. This is when Jenny’s table came alive. It was breathtaking! The shower curtains stood out against colorful, red patterned plates, red candles running down the center of the table, and bright red flowers in small clear glass vases in front of each of the eighteen place settings. The aroma of Mrs. Doubtfire’s cooking enveloped their home. Love and the fragrance of the candles and delicious food was in the air.
The crowd was as unexpected as the zebra tablecloths, which made for a very interesting and engaging evening.
The people around the table showed the diversity of America. There were Hispanics, African-Americans, Caucasians, Jews, Christians and zebra designed table cloths at Jenny’s and Bruce’s Thanksgiving Dinner! The evening had wonderful conversation, which of course included the story of Jenny’s tablecloths. Some of the guests commented the tablecloths were the hit of the night!
However, in my mind, my daughter, Jenny was the hit. She had the clarity of vision to know exactly how she wanted to present her table to her guests. She was wise in her selection of friends. And, she is devoted to Mrs. Doubtfire while they are raising three respectful and loving children, my grands. AND, she is my Jenny who knows how to celebrate Thanksgiving with Moxie.
MY ULTIMATE CONCIERGE, AMERICA AND I WISH YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES A VERY HAPPY AND DELICIOUS THANKSGIVING THIS WEEK.
Have a marvelous turkey day, and count your blessings, as I will certainly count mine. There are many different ways how to celebrate Thanksgiving with Moxie… I’d love to hear how you celebrate yours!