I was seven years old when I met, and fell in love with, my beloved Grandpa’s new wife, Mary, who would become my treasured Nan.
I didn’t remember much about my Gran, just some glorious memories of shared moments in time, but my Nan would go on to have a profound impact on me. She was so open and willing to love immediately on meeting us all.
Hospitality was her love language for sure.
My Nan became known to my siblings and I for her delicious, made-from-scratch meals. We started to think about what she would make us as soon as we knew of an upcoming visit to the Lakes. Our meals and hikes were planned for us with so much love and care. It was truly lovely to visit them.
I would learn in time that there was a rhythm of hospitality and care to her day, which she shared with us, particularly when I visited alone.
Breakfast was a simple buffet affair, but thought was still put in to cooking the egg the way you liked it, toast carefully presented in a rack, and honey or jams nicely presented for use in the bowls with the spoon in, just like at a tea-room. No bottles or jars were ever on my Nan’s table!
11:00 also known as “elevenses” was coffee with a light snack. Lunch was a simple sandwich or a lovely treat at a pub after a hike in the hills, followed at 4:00 by tea-time, and then Dinner. My Nan always used her red and gold fine china and had a tray that brought the dishes in for tea, including a cake and variety of biscuits (sweet bread and cookies). Dinner always included dessert!
Though the visits were delightful, it was the smaller moments; elevenses and tea-time, that have had the most impact for me as an adult.
My Grandparents always welcomed friends, family and neighbors into their home. Tea, Coffee or a cold drink, was always offered, along with Grandpa’s home-made bread, or another yummy baked good ready to share.
They were very much like Hobbits!
This resulted in all who entered enjoying a momentary retreat from the busyness and troubles of the world. All left happier and loved. The simple act of having an open-door regardless of the state of one’s home, and a treat ready to share, is something I strive to live out each day. What a beautiful way to show Christ’s love; I see you and love you, come sit a while with me.