Family and others outside Nevada often ask, “Why do you love Fallon?” Perhaps, because there are special neighbors and their friendship and kindness. My son Doug and I experienced such the Saturday before Easter. One of our neighbors invited us to join their family for brunch to celebrate Easter weekend.
For those of you who have many family and friends in Fallon, this isn’t the case for my son and me. We’re what some call loners. Our closest family is in Vallejo or Irvine, Calif. This leaves us with holidays alone, either to go out to eat or cook at home.
It isn’t that we mind being “just the two of us.” We really enjoy our own company, thank goodness.
Sometimes we really enjoy an invite to someone’s home, which is a special treat.
Of course – and wouldn’t you know — I was having that Saturday, one of my too frequent bad days. My heart problem can become so pronounced that all I want to do is crawl back in bed and wait for a shot of energy to help make my day. Recently I’ve had just too many of those.
At 10 a.m.Doug and I headed to the brunch. Their home is really beautiful. It ‘s much larger than ours, set at a different angle, and is probably the most inviting home I’ve seen in a very long time. Included guests were, of course, all of their in-laws and a bunch of young pre-schoolers to make the whole family scene. There were about a dozen adults and that many young ones.
This reminded me of many family meals at the Hill family home at 4932 N. Carlisle St. in the Logan section of Philadelphia. It also brought the memory of seeing, a few months ago, the live TV news of that tiny row house burning to the ground. That picture was so symbolic of those wonderful, lost days when I became aware that families had sober meals filled with, not just good food, but good company.
Now Doug and I were to experience a special one like that right here in Fallon.
The first thing we saw was people in the kitchen. The aroma of bacon and sausage, scrambled eggs and fresh waffles being baked filled the air. Homemade potatoes made with special cheese, cut up strawberries with real homemade whipped cream for the waffles, freshly made apple and tomato juice, hot coffee and milk completed the meal.
When I looked over the dining room table, I couldn’t believe what our hostess had done. Each place setting had a homemade name tag attached to the napkin. Down the table were settings for each adult and at the end the kiddies were seated together. I kept thinking of the times before I’d moved back to Nevada, when I sat at tables like this with my own family. It’d been too many years ago.
When the food was ready we were invited to stand, holding hands together in the space between the kitchen and dining room. Then, of course, this silly old lady did something she couldn’t help herself from doing. Opening my big mouth, I began with the blessing the Hill family said for so many years, and one that I’d included in the Van Leuven household. I simply started with “Father we thank you for this food.”
Then my mind went blank. I couldn’t remember the end of it. Doug did the rest saying,
“Thy gifts forever kind and good, thy bounty has our table spread, give us this day our daily bread.”
Then I said simply “Amen.” Of course, once home Doug looked at me, rightly so, with “that look,” I should’ve asked our host and hostess for permission to give the blessing. I simply couldn’t help myself.
Afterward was the best part of the day. Our neighbors had used plastic eggs with notes about parts of the story of Easter inside different colored ones. As their young son opened and read each one, it revealed the story of Easter. It ended with the last egg, which was golden. Inside was a note about Christ dying for our sins and being risen.
Yes, my coffee and that wonderful food helped this old lady feel a lot better. However it was a lot more than the food. It was simply the gracious invitation, the wonderful company and the Christian love that flooded that home that special day. Doug and I will be eternally grateful. That’s why we love Fallon!
Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org