These days it is followed by a shared reading—he in his chair and I in mine by the fireplace—of a real newspaper. He reads the sports section first, while I go over the front page for local and national stories, and then the editorials. Conversation naturally ensues, applying to regular life the principles of good team-building and fair play (or not!) of sports and the encouraging or devastating results of political or economic choices.
Beginning the day like this is a new luxury for us, lingering over a great cup of coffee having uninterrupted conversation. We treasure these minutes that often also include phone conversations with some or all of our grown children about their children’s activities and endeavors or about their own spiritual breakthroughs or aspirations.
It’s all good. It was good when the scurry to collect homework, uniforms, instruments, and lunches was a part of our morning. It was good when the house was full of neighborhood kids making cornstarch clay figures, finger painting, carving pumpkins, and stringing cranberry and popcorn garlands. It was good when the place was rocking with teen-agers dancing, practicing with their rock band, writing and filming video mysteries, and rehearsing scenes for high school plays. It was good when college students came home with roommates, girlfriends and boyfriends and a month’s worth of dirty laundry.
Soon, it will be good when our children and their families come home for a week-end of bonfires, cook-outs, swimming, and fishing. It will be fun to cook big meals again and hear the house reverberating with guitars, keyboards, basses, and drums. It will be good sitting and talking on the porch with a fire in the firepit until it gets dark and the lightning bugs come out and pond frogs and cicadas start their serenade.
And it will be good when the smell of fresh perked coffee wafts its way up the stairs to pull from their sleep the people we love the most to gather around the big oak table for pigs-in-a-blanket, scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit to share new spiritual insights, political opinions, and stories of the grandkids’ latest adventures. The prayer time around the table will be deeper and richer than when we once read Egermeiers Bible Story Book before school.
After we circle the kitchen to pray for safe travels, hug each other, and walk these beautiful children down the mill stone walk under the grape arbor and to their cars, it will be just Bill and me in our old farm kitchen, reading our devotions and a real newspaper, and sipping good coffee. And it will be good. It will all be good.