Skip to main content

Our Table has been Full: Food, Family, Friends, and Fellowship


Since the middle of March, we have lived in one of the most unprecedented times in our lifetime. I don’t think anyone could anticipate what living through a “Shelter in Place” order would mean. As a society we are so used to being connected by human contact in our daily lives that it comes as quite a shock to immediately put the brakes on the everyday comings and goings of our daily lives.

Of course, for many of us, restaurants, in some way or other, have become an integral part of our lives. Different people go out to eat more often than others, or for different reasons. For some it is a weekly ritual. For some it is an old family tradition. Others see it is a good way to meet up with friends or catch up with family. For a few, it is their nightly supper table. Regardless of reasons, these establishments have been woven through the very fabric of everyday lives.No matter the location the dinner table has been a gathering spot and a time of coming together for centuries. 

To suddenly see them have to turn on a dime and do business very differently to attempt, in some way, to accommodate us has been a real challenge. There is no real blueprint on how to navigate new rules in the middle of a crisis. Yet, we have been able to witness the commitment and creativity of these businesses to make this all work in the most uncertain of circumstances. These folks have done it out of survival, but also deep down they have done it as part of something greater as it relates to the community.

Through this Facebook group we, too, have been able to try and step up and do our part to help support and prop up these places we hold so near and dear to our hearts during the most challenging hours of their existence.  As we enter into phase four and get to actually walk back in and sit down in these old familiar places I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of the restaurants, businesses, as well as you all that have gone out of your way to support them during all of this craziness by eating your way through the county.

I think my heart has been fullest when I read about families deciding with their kids or grand children what places to eat out at next and support. Or the posts about someone trying a place they have never been before and adding it to their list to return to when things get back to normal. So many great stories and acts of kindness through the last three months. Who knew Bingo could bring us all together.

When I started this page I never imagined it would get this big or have this much of an impact. I just wanted to be able to eat out more easily by having access to some information. Clearly this became much more because of a community that truly cares-- and circles the wagons in times of need. I am going to leave the page up for people to continue using and sharing but will take the “Shelter in Place” off the title to reflect the phasing back in of eat-in dining. I hope you all will still fill the page with posts of pictures and specials and continue to extend your support in the next phase of reopening. We still have a long way to go, but living in a place like this I like our chances. Our “Table” has truly been full this spring. Thanks again to all of you. So proud to live here and call this my home.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

JB's Third Annual "Airing of the Grievances"

It’s that time of year again. Welcome back for the Third Annual “Airing of the Grievances” blog. I am thankful to celebrate a holiday (Festivus) that allows for this tradition. Clearly one of the best things to come out of the Seinfeld television series. As always I will trying to stray away from the low hanging fruit of politics (as best I can). Additionally, to my colleagues in Higher Education---I hate to disappoint you this year because there is so much material, and our profession is very broken, but that blog will have to wait until retirement for my self-preservation. Time to get this party started. Anyone that has not already blocked me or hid me as a friend on Facebook knows that I have slivered around the edges of my low patience when it comes to the Emotional Support Animal (ESA) phenomenon taking our nation by storm. Today I will make my loathe and disdain for the abuse of the current system (or lack thereof) "social media official" with this year’s first gr

Uncle JB’s Alternative School for Shelter in Place

Recently, like many Americans, the great people of the State of Illinois were put under a “Shelter in Place” order. It has been quite a transition for almost everyone (well not everyone—there are some introverts that are praising Jesus for this, as they have trained their whole life for this point in time). It has been my observation that there are two categories of Shelter in Place. House’s with no kids (like mine) and house’s full of kids. It has been quite the treat for me to scroll social media and watch how many of my friends, as well as complete strangers, have overnight gone from their day job to doing double and triple duty as “Teacher” and sometimes “Ringmaster” of their own domestic Three Ring Circus (while I am taking my dog to day care each week). I can’t seem to turn my head away from the “train wreck” of the crazy stories pouring out from disheveled parents all over the country, as households scramble to adjust (and who now have religion about how good our public-

Reflections @50: A Truly Wonderful LIfe

I turn fifty today. Not sure I thought I would ever see this day. I am also pretty sure there are plenty of people that “took the under” and are now out of the betting pool on whether I would ever hit that number as well. As I look back over the last half century I can truly say that I am blessed. I have great family and more loyal friends than a person should be allowed to have. If there is anyone luckier than me, I don’t know who they are. I was able to grow up in a place where everyone knew each other and the world didn’t move so damn fast, which has undoubtedly help me navigate life. I had the luxury of summer nights on the porch swing listening to cassettes on a boom box. I traded baseball with friends while playing whiffle ball and riding bikes all day until the street lights came on at night. I remember thinking we were rich when we got an Atari 2600 for Christmas. I had great teachers in school (I won’t name all of them here but they know who they are) and had the greates