A Good, Good Night

I’m not even going to try and describe this past Saturday night. At least not in every detail. There was such a magical feeling present as dusk settled into night… and we settled into our chairs. I hesitate to put words to it for fear of breaking the spell. But picture 30+ people face-to-face across one long, candlelit table strewn with half-filled goblets, spring bouquets, rich conversation and easy laughter.

This was my 2nd annual dinner celebration of our country’s independence… an attempt to honor the different cultures that make up this great nation. We celebrated Cinco de Julio this year… on the day after the 4th… in hopes of letting the night linger, without need to rush off to watch our favorite fireworks show.

There’s nothing better than celebrating our diversity. Recognizing the things that make us unique… and then in that, seeing our similarity in our humanity. That was the inspiration behind the menu. International Burgers. America is not made up of a simple burger with cheese and mayo. Add the flavors of your heritage and it becomes a completely (and much more exciting) new burger!

So we had 6 different cultures in burgers represented (not to mention a coordinating side dish for each one):
The Bella Burger (Italian)
The Opa! Burger (Greek)
The Blarney Burger (Irish)
The Unagi Burger (Japanese)
The Ay Carumba Burger! (Latin)
The Bollywood Burger (Indian)
*Feel free to email me if you want recipes.

Then, each guest brought a beverage representing their heritage. We had a taste of French, Chilean, Irish, Indian, Puerto Rican, Korean, South African, Scottish, English, Paraguayan, and Texan (yes, most Texans think that their origin goes no further back than the Alamo).

After we had been feasting for a while, each guest took a turn talking about their history and the beverage they brought to share.

Friends… our country is so wealthy. And I don’t mean because of our economic status, or our plethora of GDP‘s, or our political expenditures or our consumer goods. Or even the total sum of all those things.

No… it’s something much more sustainable. It’s our people. The ones who make up the fabric of this beautiful land. Rich or poor or middle class. Black or white or tan or purple. Recent immigrant or original pilgrim. Weird or normal. We are a blending and a fusion of histories and stories that can either clash or compliment… depending on whether we choose to embrace each other or compete with one another. Do we demand the rights that someone else has afforded us? Or do we offer them with an open generous hand?

I know that I, for one, am a very wealthy, rich woman for the friendships that God has so generously given me… and for the freedom I have to celebrate all those that are so different than I. And I don’t take that lightly, because many lives have been sacrificed so that I can enjoy such liberality.

So, here’s to future dinner celebrations and diversity and international burgers and twinkling lanterns hanging from trees and tasty beverages and good conversation and all the things that make us different… and similar.

ps… still no word from American Airlines… but my travel agent Clay, at Caldwell Travel is having the letter (below) forwarded to their contact at AA… so, we’ll see.


8 thoughts on “A Good, Good Night

  1. Aw, sounds like a load of fun! Maybe this time next year there’ll be 31 seats at that table [hint, hint]… Yes?

  2. you’re amazing!!!! talk about a feast. i described it as sensory overload. incredible food, drink, decor, conversation, weather, etc. 🙂 i am most honored to have been invited and it was a highlight of 2008 to be sure!

  3. Debbie,That looked like such a good idea. I’m inspired. Was it as hot & humid outside there as it is in S FL? Just asking because that’s always my excuse for not doing something outside.God Bless you.Jenna Houmes

  4. Okay so when is your Hospitality/Cookbook coming out? I’d invest in one for my collection of handpicked favorites.I love your flair whether it’s parties, pictures, or your ongoing invest of people.You rock…in living color!

  5. I still dream about this night. I will always remember it as the first night that I had a sense of “belonging” here in Nashville. Thank you for including me. 🙂

  6. I know this was a while back, but I’m just reading it and it looks absolutely luscious. I wish I could’ve been there. It looks like you know how to make a moment – I LOVE that!Also, hung with one of your friends the other night – Merideth, my fellow Sri Lanken guru. I hope you’re well and enjoyed your nap in church today.

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