There is a group of South End Mennonites that meets up here on the mountain every four to six weeks. Last night Mark and I attended the November gathering themed around comfort foods. It’s a family affair, so there were children of all ages and activities had been set up for them. We brought two large round pumpkins and two walking sticks for a pumpkin race that was planned but apparently didn’t take place. This means I now have two pumpkins to cook for pumpkin pie!
Mark and I spent our time with a group of doctors and teachers. Our host, Kevin Grabel, is a research doctor working on epilepsy at Stanford University. There was a woman named Judy who teaches American History and Religious Studies at University of San Jose. She has also been a pastor and a hospital chaplain in the past. There was a woman with a European accent who works with special needs kindergartners and 1st graders. Another woman who seemed to be from Africa does consulting for companies doing drug research for various forms of cancer. We had very stimulating dinner conversation at our table. (There were other tables as well. It was a large group.)
There were three kinds of homemade soups, two kinds of macaroni and cheese (one gluten free), an assortment of breads and cheeses and beverages, apples with caramel dip, and freshly made applesauce that was still warm. One of the children has a birthday coming up this week, so there was pumpkin cheesecake with ten candles in it and we all sang Happy Birthday to him.
As we left at the end of the evening, it was warm enough that I only needed a sweater. The stars were all out. I had to remind myself that it’s November in California. I was not only full of the good food we had, but of the fellowship and the beauty of the evening. I went to bed feeling grateful for the happiness I felt!