Storytelling with active responses keep a family close.

Storytelling with active responses keep a family close.

So good!

So good!

Saturday night hosted the latest in a series of terrific quarterly dinner events with some of my oldest friends from growing up in Boston’s North End: Mike and Nicky and Cathy, and Patti and Lauren and the cook.
The highlight of the evening: the opening of a 1967 bottle of Chateau Margaux.
It would have been the highlight of any evening: an absolutely splendid bottle of an elegance and gestalt that one remembers for a lifetime.

Tuesday night, a most amiable dinner with a University of Massachusetts crew.
Judith, who, as a musician, is accomplished both as a player and a teacher, Isaac, teacher of chemistry, Lauren, a student of biology and the catalyst for this get together, and the cook.

A long dinner. Four hours. Wines, antipasti, pasta, roast chicken, cheese, and dessert with a candle, Happy Birthday, Judith.

Dinner at its height.
Dinner that should be at the heart of every family’s day.
Interesting with lively conversation.

Dinner devoid of cell phones.
Of television.
Having the bonding and support of family as the most important goal.
For the sake of our society, the breeder of fine family life.
The basis of a strong society; a strong nation.

How critical is the number of participants?
Dinner for two is just as important.

And for one?
From the first time as a single adult I determined that my day would continue to have at its core a rigid adherence to allocating the time to enjoy a main meal; a glass of wine.

Dinner for one at home is assuredly different from enjoying the companionship of guests or family.

To life.

To life.

Certainly misses some wonderful elements of a social occasion.
But does capture the essential ceremony of a time out from the day’s chores and activities.
For the recreation of ourselves, our goals, our progress.
For a congratulations of things well done.
For a respite from the things that didn’t turn out quite so well.

Don’t slough it off.
Don’t trivialize it.

The richness of being alive.
Flaunt the wealth.
Embrace it.
Accept its importance to our well-being.

Family Meal Jan Steen

Family Meal
Jan Steen

Tagging Today
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
My 218th consecutive posting.
Time is 12.01am.
Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 38* with wind. Partly sunny. A cold one.

Dinner is Beef Stew. Delicious.

Question of the Day
What is so important about civilized dinner?

Amandines de Provence, poster by Leonetto Cappiello, 1900

Second from left:
Girl eating biscuit 

Second from right:
Traditional way of eating in Uzbekistan
Thomas Falk (living in Uzbekistan and Germany) - private; Copyright: User:Seeteufel (Sigismund von Dobschütz)

Ethiopians eating with hands
Richard from kansas city, united states - grab it and then eat it

Love your notes.
Contact me @ 

We have two posts on sleeplessness.
The first from Tommie Toner:

Dom, you have a most inquiring mind. . . which often means . . .no, or little sleep.
But sleep is so important in remaining young and vibrant.
Your daughter may have your answer. . . she is a yogi.

Have you tried really, really doing yoga?
I do gentle yoga since I am your age. It helps me to focus and sleep.

I have the same sleeping pattern as you for the most part unless I totally commit to yoga practice.
I generally go to bed at 9 or 10 and then am stark awake at 2 or 3 am . . . unless I do meditation and yoga forever.
My teacher is a psychiatric nurse and a board certified  counselor and she is very perceptive about bones and muscles of old people . . . and as much as I hate to admit it, we are "elderly"   - I am closer to 80 than 70 which I can't believe but is a reality. I still think of me as being 45 or younger! Haha!

The forties were good years of health and energy, and no deaths in the family. My 30's were another matter.
And my 50's another. 

I think the breathing is the essential quality of health. . . of course, along with diet and regular exercise. The breathing, though, is the essence of yoga practice. 
All that oxygen gets into your system and stays there.
So think about doing what your precious daughter is doing only in a reduced practice.
I have found that it is imperative to find a yoga teacher that is well prepared and well certified.
Churches and health clubs usually aren't the best venues for good yogis.
Check it out with your beautiful daughter.

Web Meister Responds: I will, although I know she sides with your views.

And from David Mediano:

Sleep is over rated. There is plenty of time to sleep when you leave earth.

Web Meister Responds: You're right there my friend.

Informal can be civilized, too

Informal can be civilized, too

Service à la russe  8 course place setting for one person

Service à la russe 8 course place setting for one person

Answer to Today’s Question:
Eating is the ingestion of food to provide us with energy and to allow for growth.
We must eat in order to survive.
This is the basic.

For humans, eating is an activity of daily living under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated, as opposed to decisions made for the individual by health care providers.
Also basic.

We either eat randomly or we eat in a regulated and supervised fashion for a number of reasons such as to decrease, maintain, or increase body weight, or to adhere to a set of beliefs, or to prevent and treat diseases, such as diabetes.
Our choice is descriptive.

None of the above has to do with a civilized dinner.
Where we take pleasure from the taste of the food.
Where we carve out a space and time inviolable.
Where we calm and smile.
Where the calibrated noise (music?) and lighting, and the smells and set table help make the dinner an event.
Where we celebrate our oneness if we’re eating alone.

Or celebrating community if we’re eating with one or more others.

And Howard shares a thought on community.
Howard’s off-the-cuff take on the question:
“Most times when we get together over a meal, it’s likely the quality of the food wasn’t the paramount feature. 

What matters is the pleasure we derive from even simple fare, and, with any luck, all that pleasure is amplified with the right company.

We all must provide for ourselves anyway. Sharing is an enhancement of the experience of being human. Whether it’s with a lover, or a sibling, or that one special cousin from among dozens, who pays a visit once in a blue moon. 

howard sitting.png

When it’s a small party of your nearest and dearest, you realize life doesn’t get any better. And yet, all you’re doing basically is eating, which you’ve got to do anyway. 

If you don’t make a pleasure of the necessity of sustenance, you might want to question… just what exactly it is you expect to get out of what we call a life, anyway.”

Good morning on this Wednesday, November 14

We talked about civilized dinners in community or alone, two bloggers’ comments on sleep, the importance of elevating dinners in our lives, and Howard’s thought on civilized dinners.

Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?

Have a good day, my friends.
See you soon.