13 November 2013

setting the table

from my earliest memories i remember living in a home that was always welcoming. we had a pool. we had a circle driveway. and we had two parents who knew how to cook and entertain. effortlessly. or so i recall.  

my father, still an avid fishermen, would host fish fries. and let me tell you. they were pretty amazing. he would set up his jury rigged apparatus out in the garage that i seem to recall entailed ladies panty hose in order to deep fry fish as well as hush puppies. friends would gather around sipping their miller lite or white wine whilst watching my father sling those little fins in and out of the hot oil. it was far from a fussy event. 
lively conversation is a requirement
my mother never really fretted over a tidy house. she did not serve with fancy dishes. or cloth napkins. she made lists, but only to make sure there was enough food. and there always was. plenty.

this was looooong before pinterest told us how to table scape. before martha stewart stole hospitality as her bastard child and perverted it in a way that is downright unnatural. long before cooking shows had to try hard to come across as being down home.

my father's penchant for spontaneous dinner gatherings left everyone happy, full and hopeful that they would be invited to the next markham cookout/swim party/homemade ice cream/fish fry. i have to wonder if it was because the hospitality was unfettered.

i've been thinking a great deal about hospitality. it's kind of my favorite thing. in this world. having people over. making them something good to eat. seeing my children interacting with them. observing my children as they learn to serve.

hospitality is not about a tidy house, well mannered children {though i must confess it's helpful}. it's not about having a large home. it's not about having the most exquisite table settings or lighting or music or even the food. it's about the people who feel loved and cherished and invited. it's about stewardship and sharing and hearing and loving and welcoming. and this can include those with whom you dwell on a regular basis as well as your neighbors. 
and when the table is full, the sofa serves as a good overflow option

if you are accomplishing all those things by just being happy someone has set aside time to sit with you a bit. if you are appreciative that in this crazy life, another soul would value you over television or even a good read, then you have a heart that is hospitable. then you have properly set a table that will be enjoyed and savored long after the guests have left.

just my 2 sense,
xo gf

1 comment:

Melinda Speece said...

Your hospitality is one of MY favorite things too.