I can’t help myself. Everybody has weaknesses. I’m a pushover for having meals with people I care about, old and new friends; visitors from near and far; family members who can have their arms twisted to stop by for a meal.
Over the years, I’ve come to know a variety of people who hate entertaining. I also know people who would much rather dine out. I enjoy that too, but there is something especially fun, I think, about sitting around the family dinner table, recounting old stories, hearing spontaneous laughter, and just being together.
I have always loved inviting friends and family for meals as well as hosting dinner parties. Some people are pretty well allergic to this, but thankfully, my husband is not one of them.
The house we ended up buying was not our first choice, yet after having lived in it a bit, I believe it is the house that I’ve always dreamed about since I was old enough to love old houses. One of the best things about our 1855 house is that the grandest and most spacious room is the dining room.
There is plenty of room to stretch out my parents’ World War II-era dining room table to its full length making it possible to fit quite a few folks around the table. So far, at this house, we’ve only had eight gathered at the table. Over the years, this table has often served eleven; and done service as a buffet table serving many guests at parties, open houses, and receptions.
Yesterday evening, without the extra leaf, there were just four of us. It was perfect for a simple meal of pizza and salad, and eventually, a little ice cream. On Saturday we are having some new friends over, a young couple with children, whom we met at church. My husband and I look forward to getting better acquainted with them.
Some people write journals, or, heaven forbid, keep diaries. I have kept guest books, narrating what we served to whom, their food allergies, likes, and dislikes. There are also copies of our invitations to all manner of events, including baby showers, baptisms, confirmations, graduations, wedding celebrations, birthdays, or visits from family and friends, some making cross country trips to stay with us.
There were hard or busy times, over the years, when the books saw no activity. But my daughter presented me with an elegant new journal for use in our last house. This house. This 1855 house. There are already quite a few occasions narrated. Welcoming people to the table gives me great joy.