Wednesday, November 24, 2010

there is always room for one more

thanksgiving ranks higher on my holiday list than Christmas. why? thanksgiving doesn't depress me the way Christmas does, you see,  it's all about the kitchen table. when I was growing up the kitchen was the center of our home. it was the place where everyone gathered at least once a day. i listened to my parents discuss and debate. it's where i learned about politics, religion, current events, table manners and family history. important family events were first heard at the dinner table. we didn't have a lot when i was a kid. there were 10 of us around the table and from past dinner conversations that i can remember it was difficult at times to make sure there was enough to go around. in spite of that my parents also felt that no matter what there was always room for one more at our table and frequently there was an extra person at the table. conversation was not always polite and well modulated. sometimes it was loud and argumentative-boisterous and opinionated with lots of hand gestures.

This is not a picture of my actual family. My sister Jackie has
all the pictures. It's a sore subject- don't ask.

i remember once going to eat at a friends house and they didn't talk at the dinner table. they didn't share their day. they didn't discuss the latest news or politics or stories. i can't remember what i ate because the food wasn't flavored by wonderful conversation.

i still live in the house i grew up in. i bought it after my mother died. so now i am the one waiting for kids to come home from college. getting the kitchen ready for cooking and spending pretty much most of the next few days there. i will listen to my kids catch up since they haven't seen each other in awhile.

we will sit around the table tonight elbow deep in flour as we roll out cavatelli dough and make them by hand just like i did when i was the one home from college. the conversation will be loud punctuated with raucous laughter as the clever repartee flies. i will stir the sauce and baste the turkey. i know my parents will be with me as i gather my family- my children, husband, step children and anyone else that have been invited to the table and inside i will say a prayer of thanksgiving that i am surrounded by love and i will send love out to all those who do not have a table to sit at.

there is always room for one more at my table.

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