Mom, we’re playing restaurant!” Hosanna’s hazel eyes beamed.
We were at our friends, the Zehr’s, house for an evening around the campfire, singing, food, and fellowship. I felt myself relaxing another notch as I soaked it all in.
Hosanna was enthralled with her friend’s playhouse. It had a mini kitchen set she’s always dreamed about, a small bed, and even a window perfect for a drive-through at their restaurant.
When I stopped to check on her, she clutched her play money, ready to buy a treat.
Memories flooded back to when my brothers and I set up a small square card table and draped blankets over it, leaving only a tiny opening on one side where we’d hand out the food in our make-shift restaurant. Usually, we’d use imaginary food. I recall once when the boys and I set up our restaurant and headed for our nook with two five-quart pitchers of water to serve to our customers. Mom smiled. She knew three or four children would never consume that amount of water.
My favorite times were when I had to prepare and serve the ‘food.’ I would post an enormous homemade sign on the blanket next to the opening where I printed the words “Gloria’s Goodies.”
My dream was to have someday an actual restaurant called Gloria’s Goodies. I gave up that idea a long time ago; I’m a mom, and no, I won’t trade it for the most charming restaurant in the world.
Instead, I enjoy the pleasure of watching my children play restaurant. Hosanna discovered it works well for her to be inside the living room window and serve ‘food’ to her younger brothers on the porch.
Julia has a creative slant to whatever she does; last week, when the children had a restaurant, she showed Hosanna how to make a ‘pizza’ by using leaves, bits of fruit, or whatever she gets her hands on. They love when it’s snack time, and they can use real food, or best of all, when Mom joins in, using smarties or other small treats to pay.
We miss not having Daddy to join in on these family times, yet we have a Father in heaven who sees it all and even has a record of all difficulties his dear children face on earth. One day it will all be restored. No doubt, today, on Father’s Day, there are many of you out there with broken hearts who are also wiping tears, then looking to God and keeping on with another day.
A special thanks to all dads continually pressing on, going beyond what they feel like doing for their families and those around them. No doubt, Daniel would never regret the days and nights he sacrificed for the sake of his little ones or the times he took his family fishing even though he hardly had time to throw in his line; his example lives on- forever.
You never know the tracks you may be leaving today.
Whether setting up a restaurant with little children in your life, going on a picnic, or even at home, these crunchy dill bites are perfect for the occasion. I was impressed when my aunt shared this basic recipe with me, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as well. If you’re not sold on dill pickles, try sweet.
HAM & PICKLE ROLL-UPS
· 16 ounces thin deli-style ham
· 8 oz cream cheese
· 1 jar whole baby dill pickles
· chives optional
· diced onion optional
1. Soften cream cheese
2. drain pickles and slice into bite-sized bits
3. spread cream cheese onto ham slices
4. place pickle bites onto cream cheese covered ham
5. add optional onions, chives, etc
6. Roll length-wise and cut into bite-sized