I have been listening to The Highwomen’s Grammy winning song “Crowded Table” on repeat all week. It could be my theme song anytime, but particularly now that my whole family is home. MY WHOLE FAMILY IS HOME!
I love a crowded table full of good food, clanging plates and silverware, animated conversation and all the people I love. It’s been a bit since we’ve had that around here, and my table and I have been ready for weeks.
With one son living in New York, and a daughter in L.A., I don’t get to yell “Family Hug!” and watch them all come running in for a group squeeze very often anymore. That’s on the agenda this week.
I’m also looking forward to some fierce competition around the ping pong table and a few of those long, regional card games where we keep score on a yellow legal pad and someone inevitably tries to shoot the moon even though, if they manage it, we’ll have to hear about that play for the rest of our lives. (Kind of like the time I shot the moon during a hearts game with my in-laws back in 1994. I could probably find the scoresheet somewhere if you want me to dissect my strategy.)
A few new games have made their was onto the playlist, so it looks like I’m going to have to learn how to play Kubb and Spike Ball, but I have Google for that. (I’m open to any tips, too. I don’t like to lose.)
We’re also planning to enjoy some of the uniquely Appleton experiences — a Saturday stroll down the Farmer’s Market, dinner at Mark’s Eastside, a Timber Rattler’s game, a walk along the river because, even though they don’t live here now, all four of them love their hometown. Charlie calls it Heaven-On-Earth. This city raised them well and I look forward to seeing them enjoy their own memories as they make their way through it.
Then we’re going to our happy place to float down the river, count a million stars, tell a few ghost stories and sing around a campfire. Summer in Wisconsin is a rare treat, as anyone who has been lucky enough to experience it will tell you.
It’s an especially rare treat when you get to enjoy summer in Wisconsin with family.
Last night, the last member of the clan rolled in and we celebrated with a game of hearts (preceeded by a game of PIG on a cellphone-lit basketball court.)
I’m really excited that I get to spend the next several days enjoying a nice, crowded table.
I hope get to you enjoy a crowded table this summer too.