Recommended Enrichment Reading: Come To The Table, by Doris Christopher, enchants the reader with ideas for togetherness around the family table. This elusive goal for many of us becomes a reality with Christopher's rich and realistic approach to this modern challenge.





Recommended Quilting Project: Not Your Grandmother's Dresden Plate by Overlook Quilts. This modern interpretation of the popular classic is a beauty! Overlook quilts has dazzled us with a bold and contemporary pattern. Hang it on your wall, drape it over your table, or take it for a picnic, at a 52" x 60" size, you will find many uses for this wonderful quilt! Easy Dresden tool included.

Celebration: Tuesday Night Potluck

By Kym Croft Miller

FamilyRecently our daughter was asked in her creative writing class to describe her community. While she mentioned the unity of her three-musketeer friends from middle school and the wacky two-sister, eco-parent nuclear family she embraces, her paper was largely consumed with Tuesday Night. This term has come to encompass our expectations of the joys and struggles of our community which has filled the open spaces of our home at our weekly potluck dinner for almost five years.

What I have learned is a variation on the "build it and they will come" mantra of the field of dreams. If you create a warm and inviting place where anyone is welcome, people will come. Though you don't cook a thing, or have a luxurious home, they will come. They will come with their beautiful foreign tongues like Farsi, Hebrew, Mandarin, Korean, Spanish and French or their sweet southern drawls. They will come with their most scrumptious family dishes, their frugal favorites, or their store bought treats. They will come with their best jokes, their funniest quirks, and their sudden tears. They will come with their dogs even though you have asked them not to, and they will come with their apologies when they realize this. They will bring their children who will wrap warm hugs around you, teach your pets new tricks with purloined food, and break little things without telling you. These special guests will teach you the language of their own dreams, be it philosophy, physics, or music and the whispers of their Buddhist, Mormon, Hindu, Catholic religions. They will learn the particular cabinets of your kitchen and the workings of your dishwasher. They will take off their shoes, or they won't, they will drink too much or never touch the stuff.

But most significantly, the people who have found their way to our dinners have brought with them a willingness to reach outside their focused, patterned lives long enough to build a connection with others. They have found it in their hearts and minds to share their food and their attention and the courage to risk their words on someone new. While the dictionary says "community" is a social or occupational group, I think the definition in my daughter's essay feels a little closer to home: "It's when people come together even though they don't have to." Tuesday nights find us the glad recipients of this voluntary togetherness. Lucky us.

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