Blog 2217 – 11.13.2021
“Glad You Did”
My loving and lovely wife Linda grew up a farmer’s daughter in South Carolina. For a hard working farmer, meal time was a special break from all the hard work done by him and the whole family. The eight children around the table and especially his loving and devoted wife Betty all worked as hard as he did and looked as forward to those long meal breaks as much as he did. It was a family custom I am sure that Dad Stokes originated, the words so sound like his, for everyone at the table to give thanks to God at the beginning of the meal and at it’s conclusion to thank the cook. Each one would say, “Enjoyed my breakfast, lunch, or dinner” and Mom Stokes would answer back like a church service responsive reading, “Glad you did.” Guests at the Stokes Family table would follow suit and join their voices to the others, everyone smiling. There were never any strangers or guests, at Betty Stokes’ table. Everyone was always treated like family.
This Stokes family tradition always reminds me of a remark my dad would make on those rare occasions when we had guests at our table. He would add after saying grace as bowed heads were raised and closed eyes were opened, “If you are not at home you ought to be. If you don’t see what you want, don’t be afraid to ask for it. We are not afraid to tell you we don’t have it.” Dad always loved plays on words and the dual meaning of the first part of his remark was not lost on him, but intended to be taken either way or both. Take it as an invitation to feel at home or to go home if you didn’t, it was all the same to my funny man dad. He was at heart an entertainer and a story teller widely renowned in our part of the country for his eye opening, hair raising, and smile provoking tales.
This morning I read a comment on an early blog that I posted over four years ago. It is always an encouragement to me that people read my blogs and are moved to click like, or even make a comment, but it is especially encouraging to think anyone would care enough to look back through previous posts and read and enjoy them too. It makes me want to arrange some kind of financial provision, perhaps a trust, to keep all these posted blogs available to be read and hopefully enjoyed long after I have taken my final bow on this stage. Whether I actually do or not I would like to reply publicly today to Rosalind’s kind comment, with the words that our beloved Betty even uses yet today to reply to compliments on her cooking. When anyone says , “I enjoyed my meal.” she smiling replies, “I’m glad you did.”
I endeavor to serve up something daily that people will enjoy and when they do and even stop a moment to say so, well that is more than enough encouragement to keep at it as long as I can.
Your friend and fellow traveler,