Thursday, January 10, 2013

our people

Before kids, I made new year's resolutions before the stroke of midnight every year, without fail, like Cinderella rushing to her carriage.  Some years, I would bow out of the dancing and whiskey sours--excuse myself to the bathroom, or my car, or my room--just in time to write ten things before the fireworks sounded.  Often, at midnight, the ink was still wet.  

Like ten-day backpacking trips, whiskey sours, and buying new shoes--I stopped the resolutions once I had kids.  I settled into a quiet satisfaction with my life.  The big things, I figured, will come in their own time.  And the trivial things...well, I've already wasted enough years worrying about that crap.  In the meantime, the big things are coming slowly, winding down county roads, listening to mixed tapes and sipping at a thermos of tea.   
This year, however, I have stated a few things I want to change as a family.  Things that I've been wanting, meaning, to change and the turning of the calendar gave me the perfect excuse to make it formal.  Three things: 1) No talking on the phone at the dinner table.  Actually, no doing anything at the dinner table except eating and talking with the faces in front of you.  This isn't easy...we have lots of family in oddball timezones who are easiest to talk with during dinnertime.  Plus, my man is almost always on-call for his job.  2) Start saying grace.  Actually, this has been one of my goals since 1997--funny how having kids puts you on the fast-track to be the change you want to grow.  3) Have a weekly meal plan.  We are an  Oh shit, it's five o'clock!? family and we'd like to change that...for everyone's sake.  Eating-out is not a viable option in our town and nearly everything we make is from scratch.  This requires some forethought.  We need to start fore-thinking.  C'est tout.  If we can change these three things, we'll be doing well.  They seem like small things--trivial--yet all of them protect that most sacred of family spaces: the dinner table.   
:: New Year's.  We travelled south to our old stomping grounds, stayed with old friends, visited with more old friends, played, played cards, went sledding.  
Our people.  The people who knew us before kids, before potty breaks and regular mealtimes, before responsible drinking and card-games played in hushed voices.  These are the people with whom you can fart at the table and not say 'excuse me'.  Or rather, if you do say 'excuse me' you'll likely be laughed at.  The people who bore witness to such fallacious statements of the young as, "I just wouldn't worry about a kid as much as I worry about my dog."  Now look at us.
We talked about those who are missing, all strewn about the west.  We speculated on a possible wedding this summer(?).  The chosen childless quitting their jobs and fleeing to India searching for a hint to their next life step, wondering where they'll end up, hoping it's closer to us.      
I can't wait to see how 2013 unfolds.  Here's to another great year, cheers.  


  1. Gorgeous photos in this post. The one of the girls sledding down the hill, smiles flying - I think that might be one of my favorites thus far. I'm a bit of a stickler about family dinner. I grew up that way - a family of six - and we had dinner together every night. I always loved that as a kid so it was important to me once I had my own family to carry on the tradition. We also say grace. It's become this witty, wonderful few minutes of our day. The boys always say something that ends up straight in my heart for good. xo

  2. I started a meal plan last spring--and it was kind of like magic. At 4:00ish I would begin my hmmm, what's for dinner search--then realize "oh yeah, that's what's for dinner. And amazingly all of the ingredients to made it were in my house! Magic. Of course creating such magic entailed an organized shopping schedule (also hard to come by) so it has since gone the wayside. But I too aim to get back to it, at least for these non-garden months.
    Best of luck on the "grace" we've tried several years and its never stuck, however your little people are much younger than mine and more easily molded. The one thing we do with some regularity is "one word about your day". This is a good conversation starter and marks the beginning of the meal. Happy New Year. Thanks for sharing.


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