As of August 1,  Anne’s Kitchen Table will be entering it’s 18th year of existing.  I guess that means we have finally reached grownup status. I think back to when I turned 18, and, frankly, I was anything but an adult. I had already flunked out of college twice (one being Montgomery County Community College, I may be the only person to ever do so), ran away to California to be a flower child (which I did, with a not very good outcome), and had been fired from Lit Brother’s Bargain Basement department , for not following directions.  I also trashed my dad’s 1964 Peugeot’s transmission by driving it in second gear at 60 miles an hour for four hours, and collected 30 parking tickets in Conshohocken, Pa. This is only what I can remember.

I’m hoping that Anne’s Kitchen TAble does not follow in it’s owners footsteps!.  I’m thinking that restaurant years should be more like cat or dog years: maybe every year of staying open should be like two people years.  That would make us actually more like 36.

Of course, then I think back to when I was 36…

I don’t know if we will ever stop growing.  I hope not.  This place I call Anne’s Kitchen TAble has been my child, as much as both of my children have been. I gave birth to it, I nurtured it, I have had sleepless nights over it, I have felt pride and I have felt disappointment over it.  I have tried to show it the best way to  make it in this very confusing and complicated world.  It is, to me a living thing, and all living things need love and care and support.

In return, Anne’s Kitchen TAble has given back so much more than I could ever have hoped for.  I have met so many amazing people, who have worked for me and who have been customers and who have become life long friends.  It has enabled my husband and I to provide for our ourselves and our children. It has given us as sense of worth and acknowledgment.  It has taught me that I am creative and strong, and a fun person!

And so, Happy Birthday, Anne’s Kitchen Table. I hope  you have many more.

The Garden

It wasn’t until recently that I have taken to planting a garden. when I was a child, I used to watch my mother kneeling over seedlings of tomatoes, and peppers and fresh herbs, with her floppy sun hat on, her sun glasses, and her trusty gardening gloves. She would pick the weeds, and loosen the soil with her gardening claw. There were bulbs of spring flowers to plant, and rose bushes to prune.  There were little purple and pink blankets of tiny blossoms that spread over the garden. Every day my mom would check her garden, making sure there was enough sun, or that the squirrels hadn’t eaten her hard work. I have memories of her garden full of colors and smells that still linger in my thoughts when I pass a rose bush, or a honey suckle. 
I am not as studious as my mother about my own garden, or for that matter most things in life. But there is something to be said for watching the fertile soil, filled with worms and other little creatures, all working hard to take a small seedling and produce a perfect tomato, or zucchini, or a sweet red pepper.  I am in awe of what the earth can do all by itself, without our help or our hindrance.  
My mother was, and still is, a very intense person. Always needing routine, and order in her life. She was never still, or calm, or relaxed except for her time in the garden.  She found her quiet place.  It’s where everything made
sense for her. 
through my garden, I have started to gain a deeper understanding of this complicated, gentle, intense and beautiful person I call my mother, and in turn have started to understand that part of her in me.