Once a week, I get away from the clinical setting of a hospital, and though my role there is non-clinical, I need the break. This break is not even church on Sunday, which I also welcome because I get to delve into scripture and pull out for a few people what I found.
Thursday night dinner has been a tradition in our rural “neighborhood” for a little over 10 years now; we came along not long after that when we moved to the house built by our host’s grandfather. We share that common geographical heritage. I love asking about some aspect of the house that the two sisters might know, or what their dad may have told them. They are in their 70’s themselves, so taking care of the cattle and the garden, and putting up hay is more a chore each year, but they plug along. Someone suggested we only have dinner once a month, but the older sister refused. She will host it each week, with “sissy” coming from her house 100 yards away, and we from a quarter-mile (as the crow flies). The talk around the table is about the latest adventure to get more chickens, or to figure out how to trap the raccoon in the chicken house, or about the new calf born last week. Each story is told with relish, and drama, and sound effects, and is better than any sitcom or stand-up routine. It’s live, and it’s life!
The neighbors are honest, we care about each other, and we miss whoever is not there any given week. We keep up with relatives, and complain about the new mailman, or we console each other, and attend funerals of those we love. We pray before the meal, and we eat like we love it, because we do. It’s our own little family and we regard it that way. It keeps my feet on the ground, and it’s on my schedule every week as if a mandatory meeting. You see, it is mandatory for my sanity, for my humanity, for my stability, and for my little community. What a great idea someone had to just bring what you were going to have for dinner, and have it together.
Thursday night dinner is known in these parts, and I get to be a part of it. It’s better than any “in crowd” I’ve ever been a part of. You can create one, too, and I would love to hear about it.