Monday, January 28

So, What's Wrong With Making Mealtime a Joyous Occasion?*

SMID's Music Monday

I walked in the front door of our three story home and was greeted by a large box in the front hallway. Sent by my sister, it had arrived in the post earlier in the afternoon. I parked my bike, hung my coat and scarf and carried the box into the kitchen.

With the dinner hour approaching soon, I made a quick perusal of the stock in the pantry and freezer and selected a menu. I pulled a pot from the cupboard under the sink, measured the water and placed it on the stove top. Once I had lit the flame and set the rice water to boil, I turned my attention to the parcel sitting on the floor.

I must first preface this by saying that my sister, who lives in Salt Lake City, is very, very, good to us. It is not an uncommon practice for her to throw a care package together and send some bits of the U.S. to us via the post. It is always a treat, and it always, always brings rather large smiles to the faces of all residents in this house when an Aunt Mindy box arrives.

Cracking the top seal, I peeled back the flaps of cardboard and peeked inside. Then I snorted.


It was a giggle, which rose so quickly from my belly, it flew through my chest and came barrelling out my nose in a definitive hmphahaacht! Great sound that.

Checking carefully to be certain I hadn't blown snot across the packing peanuts, I reached up behind me and turned off the heat on the stove. Dinner plans had just changed.

With speed and precision, I set the table, then carried the contents of the box to the dining room and placed it all on the table.

After that I called the kids to supper.

Emma was busy on the computer multi-tasking like only a pre-teen can with an IM screen open, her Ipod blasting and an episode of "Friends" playing in the background. Ian was upstairs, deeply engaged in the last of the Philip Pullman trilogy and he actually groaned when I called him down to dinner (he has loved this book series!) He continued to grumble as he sauntered down two flights of stairs, but immediately fell silent when he laid his eyes on the table.

First he saw this:

Then he grabbed the walls of the door frame and gasped.

And then?

Then he did a happy dance. (Snoopy's got nothin' on this kid, let me tell you.)

Before we sat down at the table we called my sister to shout a ginormous thanks through the phone line. Then we tucked into that massive sugar overload sent from across the pond. We laughed and talked, and sang a little thank you song as we ate.

Boy, do we ever love Suppertime!


  1. One of my favorite meals (the other is champagne and potato chips). What a great sister you have to send along such a fabulous treat!

  2. anno-
    hahahahaha! I never thought of the crispy/bubbly salty/sweet combination before.
    And yes, I do have a great sister. She rocks.

  3. Great post!!I can totally relate, except my sister hasn't sent me a care pakage yet. :-(

  4. smid-
    Yup. Lovely, indeed.

    Oh! We need to remedy that!

  5. How totally fun! I wondered about that comment on Facebook, lol. And I LOVE the new blog look!!!

  6. Care packages are so great when you're an expat. When I lived in Montreal, Patrick would send me Chips Ahoy! and cans of refried beans.

    That's perfect music for a happy dance!

  7. I guessed peanut butter - wasn't too far off. :)

  8. Now that's the kind of dinner I like, too! What a sweet sister you've got.

  9. And such a joyous occasion it was, too. Love the new look of your blog ... and your sister.

  10. We have that for dinner at our house several times a week - because it's ... well ... so nutritious and all. No, really! Milk and whole grains and protein and fortified with vitamins and such and just a little sugar ...

    Am I a bad parent?

  11. Love the new photo banner - great look!

    Isn't it wonderful how a taste from home can make an ordinary day into extraordinary?

    It's suppertime! Yeah! It's suppertime!

  12. Hahaha. Love it. I'm picturing Ian doing a Snoopy Happy Dance now.

    Nothing beats a care package while overseas. I used to beg family members to send me peanut butter and Dr. Pepper (as two separate items, not mixed) when I lived in both Italy and Ireland. Sometimes you just need that taste of home. :)

  13. Great new banner for your blog.

  14. Jenn, you have the wonderful ability to describe things so that it feels lilke we're right there beside you.

    Thank you for inviting us all to the meal and to your table. It's a great privilege.

  15. Hahaha. Hilarious. Ian sounds like a riot. And yay for cold cereal!!! And for sisters who care enough to send it!

  16. Trix are for merrymakers! And Reese Cups! The one who came up with those should be canonized.

  17. When we lived in England we got care packages from Mama...grits mostly, believe it or I get care packages from England...mostly tea! Odd that, huh? I loved this post!

  18. There's nothing like a big 'ol bowl of cereal for dinner to round out a day!

    i found you through David's blog :o)

    Just Me