the way to gather

Sleepy eyes leftover from an unwanted and very early rise, and a to do list that stretched a mile long, meant we were racing through our day yesterday.  This is honestly not my favorite thing.  While I love busy hands, and to do lists, and experiences at the ready, I do not like rush.  So I did what any woman under pressure would do and forgoed the mopping, the sweeping, the dusting and cleaned only the bathrooms and made sure there were no dishes in the sink. My mama just gives the best advice doesn’t she?  For when 20 some odd children and more than a dozen adults are arriving at your home to spend a few hours and share a meal, well, the clean would never last anyways.  Hmmm yes, our solstice celebration.  The hot cocoa bar was a success, people actually did the crafts, the bonfire was glowing and no one was burned, the food was hot and delicious, the pinata broke open, there was enough sleds to go around and well, the company was perfectly lovely.  It was a test of skills for all the parents involved in how many times they could wrap and unwrap their children in winter attire.  The mudroom was just plain old packed with boots and mittens and shouts of, “Where is my other glove?” or “I can’t find my hat!”.  Simply put, it was sorta chaotic.  A joyful chaos.  A silly, heartfelt, welcome chaos.  But chaos none the less.

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Of course we were really missing our sweet friends who moved from this slice of pie shaped state.  Missing really isn’t the proper word… it is more like, its more like there is a void in our hearts, a space left for them, a little corner that is reserved only for our dear friends living afar.  And to honor this, and the idea that we all just wish they were here, that is all I will say about our little jamboree last night.

And do you know what? In about two weeks these old friends will be by our side for a moment.  A moment I am anticipating with a bunch of butterflies in my chest.  How I can’t wait to share a meal with these folks and let our children play the way they do.  And speaking of sharing a meal…. I have something to unveil!  Though my camera is broken, and this lens just can’t do it justice… here, my friends, is the much awaited for, truly appreciated, soon to be well loved table!!!!

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So many nights my hard-working husband stayed up until the wee morning hours pandora-ing his way through every notched out, planed, sanded and drilled board in the very much not insulated chilly garage. Our boys were able to see the work that does indeed go into making such a piece.  They learned a few skills right along side my husband, and without a doubt learned the joy of a job well done.  For waking up this morning, lighting a few candles, and enjoying a meal around these smooth, delicious, planks of pine was the kind of thing that makes your eyes twinkle.  I noticed mine wrinkling in delight when I looked up to the eight other sparkles dancing in front of me.

We were able to purchase the lumber from a mill down the road.  A fitting thing to do in a place where your neighbors can provide you with so much. In fact moments before guests began to arrive last night, a friend helped Lee drill the last bench in place.  The number of hours that went into this table have gone uncounted and I am not sure they would be worth counting anyways.  There were children in and out of his workspace, a baby to hold so mama can shower, and many more interruptions to account for, so, well you can see my point.  But really it’s this process.  This process of building together that will be remembered by us all.  Recalling the time we lost Miles swiss army knife in a pile of shavings from the planer, never to be found no matter how hard we searched.  The time I was admiring Lee’s hard work from the previous night when a chicken came swooping in and got caught in my HAIR!  Seeing my two big boys, chisels in hand, helping daddy, with a pride so big it heated up that frosty workspace.

A tangible memory every time we gather.  

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