Monday, June 11, 2012

Blessing through food - part 2 - family dinners

I grew up with two grandmothers who cooked! 

One is from Arkansas (Momo) and the other Texas (Granny). 

There food is very similar...and very good.
I also grew up eating (almost) every dinner at one of those grandparents homes. 
My mom worked and my Momo and Popo took care of me during the day and then
had dinner ready for my Popo (grandpa), Mother, and myself when she arrived home. 
Not some days, not if she felt like it....
every day. 
I remember eating dinner together with my grandparents and mom every day of my life. 
Well, except most Saturdays we were on our own. :-) 
I'm not really sure what we ate on those days????
Oreos and chips come to mind. :-) 
Monday through Friday was usually meat, potatoes, salad, vegetables, AND dessert. 
Sunday was usually potato salad and sandwiches or leftovers from the week
with chips and homemade cheese dip to snack on. 
 This is the table. 
This is the one that I've shared food and family with over the past 33 years. 
My Popo was a gentle man that loved his famlily. 
I sat on his lap for many meals as a toddler.
 When I got home from school each day my Momo was in the kitchen cooking. 
Not because she had to. I'm sure there were days she wished she could  take a day off. 
But rather, because she loved us so much and knew that blessing us with food mattered
She has stood in front of her cutting board more than any other place in her home. 
Hands down. I'd put my last dollar on that fact. 
It wasn't just about the food. 
It was about the people around the table. 
The food was just the vehicle to get us all there. 
Then the daily magic happened. 

My mom would always talk about her day. 
My Popo would tell stories and just chat. 
Momo listened and served us all.
I sat there taking it all in. 
It was never rushed. 
Never hurried. 
We had nothing to do until 7 PM when Wheel of Fortune came on 
and then the Pepsi and popcorn got brought out. 
Now, I could tell a few stories about how I was a chubby kid that loved food, 
but I'll leave that for another post. 
Right now, we're talking about the blessing that food was. ;-)
(She passed down a marble rolling pin to me in hopes that I would make her pie crusts someday!)
 My Popo passed away when I was 11. 
I vividly remember that dinner was never the same again.
It was the hardest time. 
For me at least. 
It seemed so empty at the table. 
Like the life was gone. 
Someone very special was missing. 
My Momo wasn't the same. 
Food wasn't as important any more. 
Popo wasn't there to eat it, enjoy it, love it, 
compliment her on it, share it. 
When Popo went to be with Jesus, 
the family tradition of eating together carried on nightly....
but there was a sadness. 
The stories where about how much he was missed. 
How it seemed so weird to not have him there. 
How he should be walking in the door at any moment from fishing. 

The year after Popo's death, my mom got remarried and we moved an hour away from my grandparents. 
Meals weren't necessarily her gift. :-)
She tried.
Life got busy. 
We ate when we could. In between the busyness of city life and night shifts and baby girls needing attention. 
It wasn't bad. God has a plan in all that he does. 
We have a few family dinner stories that live on from our table in Reno. ;-)

But I will ALWAYS and FOREVER 
remember the times spent around Momo and Popos kitchen table. 
As a family. 
Eating food and loving each other! 

that's what I call blessing your family through food!
And Momo, who is not 84 
continues to bless us through her gift every Christmas and summer when we go to visit
along with countless other friends, pastors, missionaries, and neighbors!
Thank you Momo. 

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