A few of my friends know there is a standing invitation to our house on the afternoon of the first Sunday of each month. This tradition was begun by a beloved friend who would regularly bring over a three course meal because she didn’t like to eat alone She wouldn’t hear of my cooking instead. Even before she was not in a position to keep doing that, I began extending the invitation to others. Bring someone and or something and set a spell.
Waiting for people to arrive this afternoon, I remember such Sunday afternoon at the headmaster’s home at the boarding school I and my older sister attended. There were always games to play, crosswords or puzzles to complete and cookies to bake. There was never a short supply of laughter or good intentions. It was easy to be there doing nothing.
As I look around this room, table waiting, chairs in their places, empty but for the two puppies and me, I realize it is a sense of family that I am trying to recreate. Impossible when one has neither children nor parents living nearby. The one or two friends who welcomed my frequent stops by are on the other side of the country and the telephone cannot recreate the sense of being there no matter how much Miles Davis or Duke Ellington serenade. Are the only ones who can be counted upon those we take for granted?