Mid afternoon the monthly group text message came through, “Come anytime after 5, we will eat at 6.” A message such as this is something that has been happening for almost ten years. It is a message that we look forward to each month. The tradition has been referred to as Neighborhood Dinner or Family Dinner, which began in August of ‘09. It began as an impromptu gathering at our home which included grilling out, playing games and catching up. At the time, most of the participants were family: my husband, my brother, my cousin, her husband and our friend from college who also lived in our neighborhood. At the end of this gathering, we made an obligation to do a similar type of gathering once a month, rotating the hosting home.
Little did we know that we would continue this commitment even with the addition of five little ones and our friend getting married along the way. Last night was the same, but different. We usually walk to our friend’s home as he literally lived down the block. We would occasionally drive when he hosted in December as the walk home could potentially be chilly. It would take less than five minutes to arrive when we would amble from our home to his. However, last night our dinner tradition continued at his new home in a new neighborhood.
When the afternoon reminder text came through, I wondered if I had missed a message in the thread as I was not sure if he had already shared his new address with us. As a result, I responded, “Can’t wait to see everyone and your new place. Please send us your address when you get a chance.” I was teasing that now we would have to factor in travel time.
Shortly after we received the message with his new address. I typed it in Google Maps and the suggested route said….eleven minutes. Once we arrived, it felt the same, but different. I love this tradition we started and hope it can continue for many years to come!