The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.
The dining room table has long been the standard for gathering in my family. Here, we reconnect, often plopping into our seats without a plan for conversation or a desire to all be together. But by the end of the meal, everyone lingers, laughs, and leaves the table with a new sense of belonging.
Tonight, I'll have my full house at the table. Middle son, our soon-to-be-a- senior Fisheries and Wildlife major, is arriving from Arizona today. Just came through finals and is driving home for summer employment and most likely a home-cooked meal or two. (Which means I'll have to remember how to do that.)
Along with my husband, youngest son the baseball player, and oldest son--the moving out-on-his-own-next-week college graduate, his girlfriend, AND my mom flying in today from Green Bay, Wisconsin, we should have a fairly full table. One face missing will be my dad as he will remain in Green Bay, a nursing home resident now. We will include him via telephone calls. Never quite know who else might come by so we cook for more than we know for sure. Often some arrive by boat, car, or over the fence, or from down the road. They become family once seated. (Which means they also are obligated to do dishes which provides another opportunity for community conversation.)
Due to the current economic climate both in the world and our own home, we haven't had a large crowd at the lake in quite some time. Things are looking up and it will be a welcome treat to gather once again.
Happy weekend to everyone!