Today was Neighborhood Dinner Day. Well, not officially of course, just here in my little world. We started our Neighborhood Dinner 6 years ago and have not missed one single month. Amazing really.
We have lived life in a real and rich way with one another. We have had times of great laughter and times of great tears. We have been blessed to be neighbors in an old fashioned sort of way....the "can I have an egg and a cup of flour?" sort of way....the "I've locked myself out can you come help me get in my house?" sort of way.... "can you watch my cat/dog/child?" sort of way....in a sort of way that makes me sad that not everyone has this....in a sort of way that reminds me of how very blessed I am.
We are multigenerational, from 70's to newborn. That is part of what makes this gathering so awesome. We have wisdom and youth. Salt and sugar. Vim and vigor.
Today was the first time I've hosted since August. It was at that dinner in August that I had just gotten my mammogram report and it was my secret. It was at that dinner that I saw my neighbors through a different lens, the lens of "life is short and I want to taste all of it."
This dinner marks the first meal I've cooked since surgery. Marty helped me get it started Friday night. He cut the carrots and potatoes, I sauteed the onions and measured the seasonings. As I listened to his steady chopping and my onions sizzling, I prayed. Prayers of thanks. Prayers of joy. Prayers of peace.
Our theme this month was A Novel November. Foods from books... I made beef stew from an Alice Munro book, B made chocolate pie from The Help (Isn't that funny?!) and L made salad from Treasure Island. We were a small group today, but it seemed fitting just as the bigger louder full of laughter crowd in August seemed fitting. With this being my first hosting after the diagnosis, it hit me that this really is a Novel November.
Another meaning of the word novel is "new or unusual in an interesting way". Life feels new and unusual in an interesting way. Hosting Neighborhood Dinner last time compared to this time is like bookends....life before and life after.
I'm thinking this blog will become my place to figure out how to live life truly Double or Nothing in a Novel sort of way. The girl that has been buried beneath layers of life is ready to once again be the girl full of life...to make this November a Novel one that carries through the rest of my life.
Thanks for being a part of it all.