Thursday, November 29, 2012

Good Hours

One by one they come back down the stairs, a plate of hot food in their hands. The 
album pages have been pushed aside and the conversation is lively. I hear the pros 
and cons of marble vs. granite counter tops. I hear tips about good vacation spots. One 
woman is catching up with someone she hasn’t seen in a while, sensitively asking 
about her son’s progress in school. The middle school years were tough – the first year of 
high school is better.

The chicken – spinach – pasta bake that I made is a hit, and everyone’s wondering about my secret ingredients. The conversation shifts to pinterest.  iPhones buzz, and someone teases me about whether today’s lunch will make it onto the blog. I smile to myself, knowing that pictures of this meal are safely stored on my memory card…and that, yes, today’s lunch will probably make an appearance on the blog.

It’s funny how much these gals applaud the food I fix for them every week. I think it’s probably because someone else has actually done the cooking and they’ve gotten to take off their care-giver cap for a few hours. I’m guessing that the food tastes better to them then it really is! Whatever the reason, watching my friends relax and enjoy this time is one of the highlights of my week.

I stand up and start to collect the plates, “reminding” everyone to get back to work. Break’s over! As I climb the basement stairs that lead to my kitchen, I leave laughter and chatter behind me. Lunch is over, and we have a few more hours of scrapbooking before we have to head off to errands or to work or to collect children from school. These are good hours.

Hours spent on us and a craft that we enjoy. Hours spent with women we’ve grown to trust – at least enough to promise each other that what happens at scrapbooking, stays at scrapbooking! Hours spent making sure that our stories –the stories that make us who we are - will be passed down and told for years , for generations to come. Yes, these are good hours.

Back at my table, I sit quietly, choosing photos and planning layouts. A silence settles over the room, as each of us turns our concentration to the project before us. It’s a comfortable silence. It’s in this moment when I discover, quite by accident, how beautiful a subtly patterned sheet of paper looks behind some of my instagram shots. I cut...arrange...tape….and a walk I took this past spring comes back to life.

As I lift my eyes and watch the other five pairs of hands doing as I have done, I’m struck by the significance of this gathering. Called to these workshop tables to create memory books, we have been given so much more. We’ve been given warmth and nourishment, friendship and purpose. We are not only preserving memories, we are making memories. Together.


  1. Absolutely the food tastes better when you don't have to make it yourself! Especially when it is made with love.

  2. Just read the recipe for that scrumptious looking dish. Oh, my gosh! I will be fixing this soon.

  3. Food definitely tastes better when other people make it. Looks delicious!

    I LOVE scrapbooking and do not get to do it often enough.

  4. Yum, this looks delicious! Food is always better when it is shared with people you care about too. This will be making an appearance on my table soon!

  5. Totally love your food porn...and I want the recipe BTW. I've found that food ALWAYS tastes better when it's made by someone else and served in such a loving, creative and fun environment. Those moments with girlfriends are priceless.

  6. I love this line "pictures of this meal are safely stored
    on my memory card" and it seems to work in more than one way.

    That food looks divine and it sounds like you had a really special time together. That's so lovely!