Sunday, January 17, 2010

Breakfast Club

New Years Day, Day one of the new year, while throwing together a meal in anticipation of my family coming by for dinner I got a hair brain idea.  I'd announce it later when the whole group arrived.

New Years Eve was somewhat quiet.  We went to a friends home where several people from our church gathered as a farewell party to one of our Pastor's and his lovely wife.  They came to us from New Orleans after having survived Katrina.  Had it not been for Katrina, we would never have had the opportunity and true pleasure of knowing them.  They actually ended up here in California because Pastor Christopher or "Topher" as many call him was raised in Downey, not far from our home.  They're returning to pick up where they left off after having having been called there to do the Lords work, met and married. 

We said our good byes and left the party early, around 11:40 arriving home in time to watch the new year ring in via replay of New Yorks Time Square.  It was Juan Carlos, Karina and I.  Just the three of us, there on the sofa, quietly watching.  The first time in many years Juan Carlos was actually home on NYE and not playing a gig.  Overwhelmed by the excitment, or should I say lack of, we went to bed early.

I woke up much later than normal new years day and didn't move.  I layed there taking advantage of the rare opportunity.  JC was ready for battle, remote control in hand.  He turned on the set and found the Rose Parade in full swing.  We watched until it replayed and we picked it up where it was when we first turned in.  One of the longest mornings I've stayed in bed for a very long time.

Parade done and over I rolled out of bed and into the kitchen.  Coffee and full on breakfast for all.  We ate, cleaned the place up and I immediately started preparation for dinner.  I'm not sure if the idea came to me because of the box of family pictures sitting on the floor awaiting my brother's arrival, or as a result of the unusually quiet previous evening.  For as much as I enjoyed seeing church friends and having quiet time on the sofa with my husband and daughter, I also felt overwhelmingly nostalgic. It's been such a long time since I've been to or had a New Year Eve party with dancing and laughter and craziness.  Not that a NYE without the craziness isn't fun, but I was raised with parties.  Every year, every few months, sometimes every weekend.  Something about family and friends gathering to just talk, laugh, dance, enjoy each others company, meet new people and of course EAT.  I shared my feelings with JC who agreed.  We decided then and there, next year, party at the Boza's, NYE.

Not being able to shake the nostalgic mood, I began to think back on holidays at our home as a kid.  The house was filled with family.  Never a dull moment.  How could I explain to my kids how magical it was.....better question, why should I have to?  Then wondering, will they have great memories of our holidays?  And that is when  I began to wonder when our family started spending less time together without noticing.  I know it wasn't a conscience decision, it just happened.  Work, friends, kids growing up and distractions all got us to a place where we put less and less importance on making the effort to gather often.

I went to my room, turned on the computer and sat there thinking, what can I do.  I realized there wasn't anything on the computer that would answer the question.  The only solution to the problem is to take action.

All in attendance, I waited until everyone was sitting and eating, took out a clean piece of paper, wrote down the 12 months and made stated my plea.   "Ahem....I'd like your attention please.  I've been thinking.  We as a family do not spend enough time together."  So far, so good, I had their attention.  "Maybe it's just me, but I think we "need" to do something about this and soon".  All heads nodd in agreement.  "I have this piece of paper with the months of the year written on it.  I'd like to pass it around and have each family pick from the first months, which they are willing to host a Breakfast".  I waited for reaction and within a few mere seconds the paper was being passed around, with everyone signing up and excited about our new "Breakfast Club".

Today was the first.  Rusty and Juliet hosted our first, 2nd Saturday of the month Breakfast Club.  Let me tell you, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  What a spread!  There were biscuits, pancakes, sausage, bacon, ham, hash browns, bite sized quiche, fruit salad, juice, coffee and little chopped up vegetables to make your own personalized omelete.  Even 10 year old Christopher contributed by making cheese with chicken quesadillas.  I felt like a kid in a candy store.  I ate too much and then hung around to talk and catch up on what had been happening over the last two weeks since we'd all seen each other last.  It was a blast.

Next month is at Michele and Carlos' house and I can't wait to spend another great day with my family.  I'm sorry for Michele and Carlos because Juliet and Rusty set the bar really high but the truth is, if they decide to serve toast and butter, it wouldn't matter (even though I do hope neither of them reads this and decides to do just that), the most important thing is that we get together. 

It took a quiet New Years Eve and just enough nostalgia to get the ball rolling but hopefully instead of a few emails or a phone call now and again we won't have another two months pass before we sit down to a meal, laugh, cry and reminisce.  Time passes far too quickly to miss out on the opportunity to hug.

So if you're planning on inviting me anywhere or dropping by, make sure it isn't on the second Satuday of any month, that day is taken, I've dedicated it to my family.  I can't wait for April, the Boza's month...I already know what I'm gonna do and NO, I will not tell.  I don't want anyone stealing my idea.


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

What a great idea....I can just imagine how fabulous that spread at Rusty's house was but most of all, seeing everyone. I will never, ever forget the Christmases with you and the entire clan with the tamales. Somehow gathering around food embeds the memories even deeper into our memories; the tastes and smells get attached to moments of delight. To this day, when I walk into a mercado, I start getting teary-eyed, hot because of the chili or onions, but because I think of my dad, your dad, and anyone else that had a strong connection to this fabulous cuisine! Think of me for your next breakfast club...I wish I could be there, but you know that I am there in my heart. Thank you for coming to visit my corner, and YES! You saw little photos of grandma with Auntie Camille, my mom and myself, and a really old picture of "Uncle Earl", a man that my mom used to speak of frequently. I just loved his vintage picture, so it stands in my vintage collection!!!! Bisous ma cousine! Anita

Me....bunny said...

Good Idea...tell everyone I said "hey" when you see them. Sometimes families only remember the childhood traditions and that's ok, but, we forget that we can make our own traditions and that our kids will take notice and continue...
...looking forward for New Years Eve 2010