Some people bring out their finest crystal when they want to impress folks and make them feel special; some people never put it up.

I’m not sure that I have ever been served anything in a crystal bowl, on a crystal plate, or in a crystal glass but I know what it feels like to be treated as if I were special. Growing up, I was not subjected to many formal occasions. Most of my friends had parents who were pretty laid-back so there was not much showmanship involved in letting someone know that they cared about them.

As a youth, I remember Susan Belcher serving up Bagel Bites by the hundreds and delivering them on a tray covered in tin foil; I felt like royalty. I recall Trudi Lovinski giving me heaps of homemade lasagna heated up on paper plates and I felt like a king. I have the fondest memories of Liz Baker throwing slices of ham at a group of about ten teenagers as quickly as she could get it out of the oven, like she was fending off a pack of lions, and we felt loved. I like to think back to when Diane Shelton would fry chicken and I would stand around the table and eat it wrapped in a paper towel, and I felt important. I smile when I think about Big Ray Baker having a car full of teenagers needing a ride home from practice and casually asking if we were going straight home or if we wanted to go eat dinner at their house, and I felt like part of a larger family.

There was no china, crystal, or black ties involved; there was no showmanship or special presentations. No one made sure their house was especially clean and nobody rearranged the furniture to impress anyone. There were no formalities necessary to make me feel like I was safe, secure, and cared for.

I was raised around people who showed me that they cared for me simply by caring for me.

Crystal wasn’t necessary to make me feel special.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,