Friday, November 22, 2019

Let’s All Gather

This time of year always makes me think about gatherings, both of family and friends. Although loved ones certainly do visit on other occasions throughout the year, it’s the holidays that call us together. Folks tend to travel from far and near, making fellowship a priority. The ties that bind us become just a little bit stronger. And when I remember such gatherings during my childhood, I think about…the dining room table.

My mom usually hosted our family gatherings, and following the feast, the men inevitably retired to the living room while the women lingered around the table. My mom being of British descent, and tea being endemic, every female from the youngest to the eldest had a teacup in front of her. Conversation would range widely, from current news to relatives who were no longer with us. The tea leaves would be read, and stories would abound. I can’t help but wonder how those conversations contributed to the woman—and the writer—I am.

My mom has long since gone to join those deceased relations of whom we spoke. And I’ll admit, our gatherings had become little more than a fond memory for me. But life is funny. Recently I had a chance to get together with a cousin I hadn’t seen in more than a decade. We met not at my mother’s, but my daughter’s home. We sat around her dining room table sharing tea and stories of relations past and present. And, do you know what? The old feelings came flooding back—I felt the same comfortable sense of belonging and acceptance, and the tightening of those ties that bind.

I believe that pieces of those who went before us, travel with us. They are imparted in words shared, in laughter, and often in the wisdom of women. Maybe that’s why I love words so much. And maybe that’s why when we gather around a table, it means far more than a meal shared. This year, when you gather around your holiday tables, may the words you share come straight from the heart.

Christmastime On Donner’s Mountain
For most of her life, Becca Monroe’s been running. The urge to see what lay beyond the next horizon took her away from Donner’s Mountain and the man she loved. Now, back for what will surely be her grandfather’s last Christmas, she’s caught in a tangle of unresolved emotions that leave her torn between the impulse to flee and the desire to stay.

Jack Donner never stopped loving Becca, even though she deserted him. Better than anyone else, he knows how cruel it would be to fetter her wild spirit, and he doubts she could ever be happy living in one place, on his mountain.

Can memories of Christmases past remind Becca what truly matters? And can love convince Jack to give her one more chance, even if it means risking his battered heart?

On Amazon:

Happy Holidays
Laura Strickland


Mary Morgan said...

What a beautiful post, Laura. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words.

Tena Stetler said...

Loved your post and pictures! Thanks for sharing! Beautiful cover.

Sadira Stone said...

What a lovely reflection on family holiday gatherings!

Judith Sterling said...

A lovely post, Laura. Such wonderful memories you have of the women gathered round, drinking tea. I lived in England and Scotland for a while, so tea is big for me, as well. Love the cover of your book, too!