Can you name your five all-time favorite dinner remembrances?
A first date, grandma’s house, a momentous celebration … they might stir up your memories with a smile. Most likely, these events happened around a table.
We’ve all got a table somewhere—indoors, outdoors, fancy or worn—they’re functional, common, and sometimes…magical. Simple pieces of furniture, our tables, quietly offer unforgettable opportunities for all who gather around them.
One of my special memories originated on a warm July evening when we celebrated our friend’s wedding anniversary while vacationing on a houseboat. Between all of us adults we had about a dozen children, so we hired the oldest to keep the others occupied. We set up folding tables and chairs on the upper deck complete with table cloths, wine glasses, candles, and music. As we ate, we watched a gorgeous setting sun reflecting on the water and, to our surprise; a whole herd of deer came grazing across a nearby island! My husband and I slow danced to ‘Unforgettable’ by Natalie and Nat King Cole. We couldn’t have felt more grateful.
Another event I will cherish forever occurred one November with my family. Due to ill health, we knew it was likely Vern’s dad’s last Thanksgiving with us. After dinner, our conversation lingered while questions turned toward him about the war, his experience overseas, places he enjoyed, and fun times he had. My son videotaped our conversation which is now a treasured keepsake … Grandpa died the following year.
One reason we experienced both of these treasured events is because we made room for them at the table. Occasions and conversations like these water our souls.
Dinners at our tables have the potential to spawn special moments when spent with those we love. Their affect is much like playing catch or a game when we choose time together intentionally.
An occasional dinner on the couch watching football is fun too. But, do connection and relationship characterize our meals? Have cell phones, computers, and TVs displaced our quality dinner times together? Dinners might feel usual and ordinary, but, they can become a source of security and belonging for those you serve. Without them, we leave little room for the treasured moments that unexpectedly arise around the table.
Who knows, like an unforgettable slow dance, we might surprisingly experience something magical!
Making time at the table,
Stephanie Allen is Co-founder and President of Dream Dinners and a New York Times best-selling co-author of The Hour that Matters Most. Naturally a visionary and optimist, Stephanie hopes to inspire America through her nurturing voice of encouragement, assuring families…
“You’re doing a great job!”