Back In The Day…

This would be the kind of night that called for a big family dinner.  Something simple, but heavy and warm.  Chili and corn bread.  Or   thick and hearty stew with big chunks of fresh baked bread.  Everything made from scratch.  The house would be warm from the fire.   Sitting around the table for extra long, there was no hurry, no need to go out on a night like tonight.    Food enjoyed and lingered over.   Eventually the dinner mess would be cleared  away.  Setting about would begin.  The weather outside would wrap the house in a comforting atmosphere.  Cold out there.  Warm in here.  Perfect.

Someone would tell a story about last summer when it was so hot, remember?  And how we all had wished for one minute it was cold and snowy.  Now that it is, we all wished we could open up a jar of summer.  HEY!  We can.  Someone runs to the cellar and brings up a jar of summer made strawberry preserves.  The rest of the fresh made bread from the day is brought back out.  Every one relishes the taste of summer in the strawberries.   Sweet.  Hot sun.  Some eyes close relishing the moment preserved in that strawberry burst.

Someone knocks on the door and it’s opened to a handful of neighbors who came over to wile away the evening.  One of them brought their fiddle, or guitar, or mouth harp, or flute, or penny whistle just in case there was a lull in the conversation.  Some times there is a lull.   But it’s comfortable.  Every one is safe with who is with them.  There are no secrets.  Just hard working.  Happy to be living.  Working to be living people.  There’s a feeling with these people.  A familiar and contented feeling.  Everyone works for the same thing.  These moments.  Full bellies.  Quiet evenings to rest and relax.  Laugh.  Sit quietly and just be.

It was dark before dinner was even begun.  The darkness now just wraps them all more snug in the house.  No one knows hustle.  No one is worrying about what they are missing.  No one is frustrated because they can’t go somewhere else or be doing something else.  This is what it is about.  The people in your life.  They’re right here.  Laughing.  Talking.  Someone starts to hum.  Whoever brought their fiddle, or guitar, or mouth harp, or flute, or penny whistle picks up the tune.  Someone’s  foot taps quietly.   Someone might start to sing.  No one really cares if who is singing can sing.  It’s the song and the singer that are comforting, or entertaining.  Poor singing is as enjoyable and fun as quality singing on a night like tonight.

Someone sitting there thinks fondly of someone who is no longer there.  And gives a silent little nod of love to their memory.

Someone sitting there thinks of how wonderful it will be when they grow up and can do this with even more family and friends.

Someone sitting there thinks of all of the wonderful meals they’ve shared with these people.

Someone sitting there nods off in the warmth and noise of the room.

This was the kind of night created for memories and sharing and being.   Together.

No one sitting there thinks there is something better out there.    Everything that is good is at home.