My childhood was not the happiest, especially as I grew closer to my teen years. So, when I do recall a happy moment, it’s something that stands out and means more to me than it would to some. Every now and then I find myself in a situation or in a place that does trigger one of those happy memories from the past. In the fall, at suppertime, when the food cooks and the windows fog up, special memories come flooding over me. It reminds me of times, in the fall, when the days were getting shorter and cooler and my mom or dad cooked supper.
The pots on the stove were cooking, filling the house with warmth. The outdoor temperature dropped causing condensation to collect on the windows. The fogged windows made it difficult to see darkness settling in outside. My brothers and I sat at the kitchen table, doing our homework. In the fall, this meant supper time and a time for the family to be together.
When it was time to eat, my brothers and I finished our homework and cleared the books and papers from the table. We set the table with plates, glasses, and silverware. My mother would bring bowls of food to the table, and we’d sit down to eat. It was a cozy feeling, being in the warm kitchen, at the table with my family. I knew the temperatures outside had fallen and darkness was all around us, but I felt safe here. It was a warm and happy time.
With time, things have changed for me. Years later, as a mother, I was the parent putting the food on the table. Now, as a grandmother, I am still preparing the food, but most of the time, I work alongside my daughter. She is now the mother putting food on the table. But, other things have changed as well. We no longer put the food in bowls and set it on the table, and only rarely does my granddaughter set the table. Each family member gets a plate and fills it from the pots on the stove or counter, then takes a seat around the table. That’s one tradition that hasn’t changed.
I sit, eating supper with my family, and realize how some of the things we do have changed through the years. But, some of the traditions important in a family, have not. I look up and see the windows fogged and darkness outside, all around us. That and the warmth of the kitchen bring those precious memories of falls long ago flooding back to me.
I still get the same feelings I had as a child, but now it’s with a thankful heart. I’m thankful that my family is here and can experience the same things I experienced as a child. I’m glad they can sit around the table, eating together on a fall evening. I’m thankful that God has given me the opportunity to be here with them. I hope that someday, they, like me, will cherish their memories of family and suppertime in the fall.
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