Book Club Meets City Supper


Last Sunday, we invited you to gather in your homes with friends and neighbors over a shared meal and to share ideas of what "home" means to you. In the coming weeks, we'll be posting some of your photos and stories. Our first comes from Erin Kelley, who lives in Midtown:

City Suppers happened to fall on the night I was already scheduled to host my book club. One of our book club rules is that the host prepares a meal, provides the wine, and leads the discussion. Basically, all responsibility falls on one person … which is great. Sure, it’s a little stressful when you are the host, but the other 10 months of the year you just get to relax and enjoy good food and good conversation.

For our group, that “good conversation” has been essential to developing trust. We are a group professional women ranging in age from 40 to 50+. Some are mothers with grown children, others have school age kids, and one is happily childless by choice. We vary in race, religious backgrounds, and hometowns. While we share much in common, we have many differences in perspectives, attitudes, and life experiences.  Through our book discussions, we’ve come to understand and appreciate each other’s values, hopes, and places in the world.

All but one of our members lives in Midtown and we consider ourselves neighbors in that sense. Dovetailing our book discussion with conversation about neighborliness, community, and “home” was a natural fit. When asked what the difference was between a house and a home, I was told …

A house is just a physical structure. Home is where you belong.

Home is safety, comfort, security.

Home is a state of mind.

Home is where you can be you.

Going home is going to that place that provides respite.

Home is love.

For me, home is where you make it. Some days, home is my front porch where I watch the world go by. During the holidays, it is the smell of certain food my grandmother used to make.  Each summer when my husband and I go camping, it’s wherever the rising sun and trees meet to create a flickering dance of shadows over our site. Once a month, home is gathering with these five other women to laugh, kvetch, and talk about all manner of issues, big and small, and knowing I’m valued just for being me.