Way back in the day when I was a kid...okay, not too long ago, but long enough. Back in the late 70s and early 80s, we used to have Sunday dinners at my grandparents' house. One of my fondest memories from that time comes from the fact that we didn't have high chairs or booster seats at their house. Imagine coming from a family of seven siblings, which meant that when we all got together on Sunday after church that there would probably be around seven kids regularly, and sometimes if our out of state cousins were in that grew to eleven kids. If the youngest half of us had high chairs that would be at least four high chairs at one time.
Instead, enter my wonderful memory, sitting on the sears books. A lot of you may remember back then we got these enormous Sears catalogs in the mail each year. The best part of the Sears book for me was that gigantic toy section that you would thumb through and imagine making your Christmas wish list from. For those that came later or never saw one, imagine they are the size of one of our huge phone books now. Wait...do we even get phone books anymore? I think they are going to be a thing of the past soon also.
I remember we would have to eat Sunday dinner in two shifts usually. I can't remember specifically but I think we used to alternate, I think occasionally the adults went first and occasionally the kids went first. We didn't have a kids table, just our own turn. I do remember that it didn't bother us to have to wait our turn because with that many cousins running around, we were usually busy in play and not standing there watching the adults eat.
When they called us to the table, out came the Sears books. The youngest of the group got a stack, sometimes one, sometimes three or four, depending on how small you were. You'd get placed on your stack of catalogs and pushed up to the table. Your feet would jut out in front of you, or dangle slightly as your eyes took in the yummy goodness on the table before you.
A typical meal my grandparents served was roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, corn, and biscuits. There were always biscuits. When my grandmother Maw Tea was unable to cook anymore and my grandfather took over cooking, she was still able to come into the kitchen and bake with loving perfection her signature homemade biscuits. That's one of the things I wish I was able to make just like her.
After the most delicious meal of my entire week, we were turned loose to play once more and spent most of the evening enjoying hanging out with all the cousins. We played so many fun games that I can't even get into here. That deserves a posts all to itself. Sometimes we would come back later in the evening and enjoy a bowl of ice cream or a malted milkshake that my Paw made for us to try out. Always gathered around that beautiful metallic table. Always with our feet dangling, sitting on that stack of Sears books.