Monday, January 19, 2015
A Misplaced Place
We have today off of school so I got to sleep in a little....I didn't. I wanted too but my own body clock says, "Hey girl...get yo' self outta bed!!" I am having some friends over this evening for a chick dinner. This means great appetizers and great dessert for those who do not get chick food. Women do not need a big ole hunk a meat to eat. We are not cave-women. Anyway....I was cleaning my dining room when I heard on the Today Show that the majority of Americans do not eat at a dining room table. And actually this is a room that is all but disappearing in homes. The news clip showed people fixing their plates over a stove and just taking a plate (paper, too) anywhere to eat. What is this people!!! I will tell you what it is. Wrong. I must say that my family always sat at the table every single night to eat dinner together my entire children's lives. The only exception was if we went out to eat. I live alone now and I still eat my meals at the table on a real plate with real flatware and a real glass. I did not feed my family off paper plates either but on a rare occasion. There is just something about setting a table and passing bowls of foods, talking with each other. Laughing after the meal is over. Lingering around a table sharing with one another. some of the deepest conversations of my life have occurred around the dining room table. I am very fortunate that I have two dining rooms. A small "breakfast" area off my kitchen and a real formal dining room. that is where we gather on Sundays and holidays and nights that all my people are here for supper. Even in the lazy casual days of summer we eat at a picnic table or around the pool together. I never allowed my children to eat in front of a TV or in their rooms or alone. Even if they were late for supper due to some activity I sat with them while they ate...at the table. It saddens me deeply to see this place misplaced in homes. It is where we are taught the act of conversing, taught manners....real manners, relaxing with one another. Catch up on our day, to slow down even if it is just for 20 minutes. Have I ever been left standing by an empty table with a huge mess and a pile of dishes??? You bet I have, more than I can count. And you know what? It's okay. I have learned to cherish the act of clearing the table, washing up the pots and pans, loading the dishwasher, wiping everything off, setting the table and chairs back to rights. It is a great opportunity to ponder my own day. To talk with God. To pray. Pray for my family that I just fed. Now that my grand babies are getting older they have come to love sitting at the table to eat as a big group. Now we still occasionally have meals at the eat-in bar in the kitchen together but this too is just a very long table with tall chairs. The point is taking the time to be together. In your own homes please do not misplace this place. Dust it off, clear it off, get out your plates....no matter if they don't match or are chipped....set the table. Paper napkins or cloth, just sit down and fellowship with your family. It doesn't matter if it is over hot dogs, tomato soup with grilled cheese, take out pizza or pot roast with mashed potatoes, carrots, gravy, salad and rolls. Just being with one another is the best part of the meal. The Bible tells us in Proverbs it is better to eat over a fair meal with love than a meal of the finest choices with tension. Listen, I have been there and done that....a thousand times. As hard as a sit down with some people is....don't send your children off to eat in their rooms or off the couch. Suck it up and sit down at the table and ask them about their day. Even if it is just for a few minutes. "Suppers ready" is one of the greatest phrases ever said.....don't let it get lost.