Last night we had a dinner that was so familiar and yet hadn’t happened in a long time. My brother and his wife are here with their 11 month old, my mom and dad came up from Clatskanie and our friends from Vancouver that we grew up with in Southern California came over for some grilled goodness. When we all lived in Santa Barbara this was an almost weekly scene at one of our houses but happens less often now that we have spread out. We had marinated steaks, corn on the cob, fresh french bread, and an apple walnut salad. There was watermelon slices and ice cream sandwiches for dessert and friends and family as far as the eye could see. For the first time we even had a kids table that none of the kids wanted to sit at. We felt so grown up.
Gathering for big meals is a fundamental part of our community and big part of our continued closeness. When we are sitting around the table, passing the butter and the stories, we are reminded of how lucky we are to have each other and to still be so close. Guys that we have known since we were in Junior high are still friends, and when we come together even after a long time we pick right back up. We are trying to get my brother and sister in law to leave the sweltering summers of Arizona behind and join us in the lovely Northwest but I think that is going to be a tough sell. The love the area and being close to family but they have a community there that will be hard to leave. The rest of those guys we grew up with are there in the Phoenix area so we will need bigger guns. The fishing trips, and snuggly nephews helps but we need jobs more friends to join them on the Oregon trail. We will keep the pressure up with dinners like the one we had last night, wining and dining them until they come around.