Front to back: cinnamon roll cake, Kentucky Derby pie, fried chicken, s’mores cupcakes, real butter, grilled corn on the cob, red Solo cups, family (of a sort).
Not pictured: mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, Reese’s cup cupcakes, the other Kentucky Derby pie, ample leftovers of every homemade bit of it.
I don’t know what it says about me, but the page I worked hardest on in my book was the Acknowledgments page. And this is what I said about the people at this table:
Thanks … to all the assemblages I call family, biological and otherwise, especially … the men and women of Hope House, for support and encouragement and love, and for the gift of seeing me.
On and off for four years I’ve shown up on Thursday nights with these folks, and it’s a bit like a warm family drama with an ensemble cast. Some characters have been there the whole time; some drop in and out; some are regulars for a single season; some make only an appearance or two.
It’s one of those places that function under Vegas rules — what happens there stays there — but I think I can tell you this much.
We read. We watch. We listen. We consider Scripture, videos, songs. We check in. We talk. We come to know about and care about what’s going on in each other’s lives. Sometimes one of us opens a tender place and lets the hurt pour out, and the rest of us receive it and acknowledge it. We don’t fix it.
Always, we hug (always optional for those who prefer not). Always, we pray. Sometimes we sing.
I hadn’t been there for a month and a half of Thursdays. Had been through the decline and death of my father from lung cancer. Walked in bearing beverages, to that warm welcome where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came. To some consoling hugs. And to the happiest kind of family dinner: good food, lots of it, a little conversation, a lot of gratitude. Some teasing. No debating. No crying. Just all of us, at the table, together.
I should add that sometimes we laugh really, really hard and loud.
And sometimes we simply keep the feast.
I’m linking up with Ann Kroeker’s Food on Fridays. I invite you to make yourself a beverage and check out the feast over there. (Click on the bowl of apples.)
Tell me about one of your family (by any definition) feasts?