The night was getting late when the eight of us landed at the last house for our Progressive DInner a week ago, this time for dessert.

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There was a glow to the house as we sat around a beautifully lit table and indulged in the most fabulous carrot cake with thick cream cheese frosting (sorry, no recipe included today), and listened to the Christmas sounds in the background.

I loved Kristi’s Winter Wonderland table with candles and pearls. It just felt right. Cozy, comfortable, and delicious coffee as we were hitting the 5th hour of the 8 of us being together.

Before we sat down to eat, I wandered into the living room alone, and my eye caught something all-too-familiar. You see, I always forget that our friends purchased the piano from my folks when my dad got a new one a few years back. And every time I see it, something inside me gets nostalgic and the memories start rolling.

-Years of taking piano lessons

-A very large Mrs. Anderson sitting by my side teaching me piano and theory

-Mrs. Anderson sucking on Certs (she was a smoker)

-The horrible feeling of being “‘unprepared” because I did not practice enough

-Ultimately, hours of release and playing for satisfaction during my teen years

-A feeling that takes me back to the home I grew up in when my Mom was alive … a good feeling.

Music was always a very big part of our home, piano and all. So on this night, I captured the picture quickly of the keys that my fingers tickled for many years.

I then went back in to join the group and the nostalgic feeling was over.

But it felt good while it lasted.

We gave our hugs and said our good-byes, knowing we’d be seeing each other throughout the year for more meals. But not for another Progressive Dinner until Christmas time next year.

We save the date, we save this special event, and we look forward to it ONE time during the year. It’s wonderful and I take it a step further and I think about my kids who are all teens now. They know about this night. They know about the people involved (they love them), and they know about hospitality. They know what’s it like to get ready for a “‘party,”‘ and what to do when people knock at the front door. They know how their parents offer a beverage and have beautiful (sometimes fun and very lively) music playing in the background. If I died today, I know that I know that I know that my kids know how to be hospitable.

And it’s a good thing to know.

Are you showing and passing the gift of hospitality down to your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or even neighbor kids?

I’d love to hear your story!

If you missed out on the other “courses” to this meal, you can catch up, here:
Main Course