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.