Brought to you compliments of Make Ahead Beef Enchiladas.
I got back to my office Wednesday afternoon after giving a presentation when my phone rang.
It was my 19 year old son calling from school in Vancouver letting me know he was coming home for a few a days. (It's Remembrance Day in Canada)
Naturally, I was thrilled and couldn't wait to see him.
Or his friends who, since kindergarten, have been a kind of a package deal.
Like the song "Boys of Fall" by Kenny Chesney, if you've got one, you've got them all.
And with most of them now well over 6 feet tall and built like tanks after years of playing rugby, I'm sure you can imagine how cozy (and loud) it gets with all of them packed into my kitchen and family room.
A few years ago we contemplated selling and "movin up" into bigger digs - but as a person who has moved around a lot in my life, particularly when I was a child, I realized that, for me, a beautiful home is about so much more than architecture.
Although we could certainly afford a larger place, there is history in my walls.
My son's handprints are in the bend of a concrete sidewalk leading to our porch.
Two cats, a hamster, Hal the lovebird, and our beloved Ziggy are buried close by.
The trees, shrubs, garden, landscaping, paint, renos, and repairs all bear our handprints.
And every single one of those boys with their big feet in my living room has been a part of it.
I can picture them at age five playing hot potato in birthday hats, wrestling over a comment made during "pass the secret" that so and so had "kissed" a girl, or them getting me to play endless rounds of charades, hide and go seek, and Simon Says .
To be a familiar destination in the lives of these now adult young men, makes me feel happy, and at this stage in the game, I'll take all the happy I can get.
Last night the group of them went out to watch the hockey game at a local watering hole. Kind of like a grown up version of car pooling, my husband drove.
When they arrived home at 1:00 am they were all STARVING, and knowing me and my ever filled freezer enquired as to whether there were any enchiladas.
Sweet frozen VICTORY!!!!
I can remember raiding the midnight fridge of my best friend's mom during my own hey day.
She always had delicious leftovers on hand.
Although I never consciously aspired to becoming the same kind of person, in looking back over the landscape of my life and my choices, I can see, now, her influence in everything I do.
Never underestimate the power of things done with love. Whether that be sharing a casserole or a fridge full of leftovers - it's the sharing that counts, and the sense of belonging you will create in another every time you open your doors and say "Welcome."
TH heads back to school tomorrow and my husband I will resume our more quiet shoe free existence.
But during these times when he still calls our place home and his childhood friends remain a large part of his life, I am resolved to cherish every moment knowing that, like all things in life, it just goes by so fast.
This blog is linked to Recipe Swap Thursday at Prairie Story