Friday, May 29, 2009

Family Ties

Whatever the occasion, family get-togethers are special times. Last night we sat around the table - and the bar - and enjoyed fresh vegetables from Husband's bountiful garden. Food just has a way of bringing us together! And when we are together, we make wonderful memories.

We made memories as Sister and I put the vegetables, rice, steak and gravy, and fried cornbread in serving dishes and got everything ready to call, "Y'all come and eat!" You don't have to say that twice in our family. Husband said grace like Daddy would have done if he was still with us, and food began to disappear from serving bowls. I had tried to cook the meal "like Mama did" - and Youngest Brother and Sister even called it a "Gracie meal" - but I don't think anyone can cook quite like she did. I wonder - if she was looking down on us - if she noticed my gravy was a little too thick! No, I think she was so very glad to see us enjoying each other's company.

And I like to think that Middle Brother, who has been gone from us for four years now, was listening in to Oldest Brother and Youngest Brother, Brother-in-law, and Husband as they talked in the living room. He could always add the funniest versions of hunting stories that usually began: "Do you remember the day we were hunting on the Tick Misery Road . . . or at the Harve Swag . . . or down the Rattlesnake Road . . . ?" I think he would have loved the vegetables and would have especially enjoyed seeing Husband's garden. I can just hear him say, though, as he looked at the loaded tomato plants, "Hoss, why didn't you stake these plants and tie them up?" And Daddy would agree with him wholeheartedly!

After everyone had eaten their fill, leaving a tiny bit of room for lemon icebox pie, Sister-in-law and Niece washed, rinsed, and dried all the dishes while Sister and I cleared the table and put away food. (Actually, leftovers went into a "Care Package" for Oldest Brother!) What would have taken me hours to clean up was done in no time. Fast clean-ups remind me of the Sister-in-law we've missed for 25 years. I've never known anyone who could get a kitchen back in order and spotless as quickly as she could!

What fun we had in the kitchen as the three of us "old-er women" filled Niece in on "the way it used to be." She listened in disbelief - and sometimes horror - as we told her about can-cans, Dippity Do, Evening in Paris, hair rollers made from orange juice cans, and smelly home perms! She's probably still shaking her head!

I'm so glad that in these often-chaotic days in which we live, we found the time to be together and laugh . . . and remember . . . and eat. I implied earlier that fresh vegetables brought us together last night, and that is true. But that's not the whole story. What really brought us together is . . . love. And love - God's and ours - is what holds us together - even in the difficult times such as our family has experienced. It really is true: Love never fails.

"Blest be the tie that binds . . . "


Nancy said...

I LOVE this! When I stop to think about it, I'm always so thankful that Mama and Daddy didn't stop with just two kids like so many of us have. I LOVE being one of five siblings. I'm sure it wasn't easy for Mama & Daddy to have four teenagers in the house at one time, but I'm so glad that they did. Brothers and sisters are very special blessings, as I realize you know! Thanks for sharing (virtually) your family supper. Now if I had only known you had cooked enough for an army, I would've found my way to your house last night! :)

Anonymous said...

This touched my heart so. As in several of your earlier blogs, this made me laugh and cry. Printed a copy for my "treasure chest". Love you.

JudyBug said...

How blessed you are to have brothers and sisters! How blessed THEY are to have you!

Nothing will ever taste quite like Mother's cooking. I can use the same recipe but it's just not the same. I was just wishing for my mother's or grandmother's veggie dinner the other day. However, I feel blessed and thankful I have those memories to cherish.