Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page.
By Julie Wilder-Sherman
How I love the ritual of the famliest day of the year. My favorite month and favorite day. So much planning. So much work. So much expense. All of it welcomed enthusiastically by me.
The long folding table is taken out of the garage, locked into balance and steadiness, then cleaned. The fall-themed table cloth scattered with a pattern of dark green, yellow and brown leaves on a tan background with acorns and pinecones around the edges is spread out on the long table. Napkin rings, the only time I use them, encase the small thick linen face towels of red and yellow, placed in the center of each plate which sits upon gold-colored chargers I bought on sale at Kohl’s.
The gravy boat and fancy dishes not used in a year are removed from the cupboards, washed carefully and dried by hand. Wine glasses received at our wedding more than 30 years ago are lifted from the china shelf, now mismatched with pieces gone still make an impressive display.
The center of the table is dotted with small live sunflowers in short vases, making sure they are low enough for family to see each other across the table. Tiny amber-colored lights weave in and out among the vases traveling down the center of the table. At dusk, when we sit, the lights give off a magical glow around the flickering maroon taper candles nestled into the gold candlestick holders.
All that remains is the food. Let’s eat.
Julie Wilder-Sherman began reading books at an early age, encouraged by her mother who would allow her to take books to bed when she was as young as two years old. Raised in a family of readers, writers, performers, musicians, and political activists, Julie followed her dream of singing professionally and met her husband, bassist Jeff Sherman, while singing on The Love Boat. Together they enjoy cooking, eating, reading, and traveling to all corners of the world. Julie remains politically active and helps to manage the Petaluma Postcard Pod supporting democratic candidates, issues, and policies.
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