Over the years we have hosted hundreds of dinner parties in our east Dallas home, often raising money for charities we love, resulting in remarkable conversations around the table.
Yes, the lost art of conversation, without cell phones, eating great food prepared with love, drinking great wine poured with affection, and looking each other in the eye. I have seen it over and over and it always works on a remarkable level.
And it works because, Hayley knows exactly what to cook, what to pour, and how the evening should go. It’s remarkable to watch her in action, and it never gets old. Smiles and hugs, often from strangers as they walk out the front door and into the night are always our best, “thank you.”
I paint this picture because together we have created an environment around a dinner table that is both comfortable, compelling, and rare. We talk about movies, actors, food, wine, we laugh a lot, often musical artists drive by and perform, and in the end it always brings everyone together.
It takes a big effort to plan, cook, serve, and put people in an environment where everyone feels comfortable.
My childhood memories of family dinners can be summed up in two words: “Giggles” and “Fear.”
In my Oregon home, we gathered around our yellow, formica kitchen table and recounted what we did during the day. My father, who taught me everything I know about trout fishing and baseball, sat at the head of the table and never understood the healing power of laughter. In my home if you giggled or started laughing during dinner, you were sent away. I missed many meals because of many smiles.
Which brings me to my point. Talking, listening, eating, drinking, and yes, laughter, are all attributes around a dinner table to be embraced and enjoyed.
I hope you get the chance to dine with us sometime in the future, and I promise you won’t be sent away for giggling. In fact, you will be celebrated.