December, 2007. At the time, we were looking for a way to create more community among our family, friends, and neighbors -- to unify some of the disparate groups that make up our circle of acquaintances. And we thought a casual Sunday evening affair would accomplish our goal nicely.
We hosted four soup nights that year. And they were an absolute blast. We had a great time, and we vowed to hold soup nights for years to come. Unfortunately, in fall of 2008, Peef lost his job. Afraid (amid other things) that we'd have to start asking the guests to bring the soup, we put a hold on the festivities. After a year's break, we both wondered if we'd have the nerve to start things up again.
2009 came and went. The economy tanked. Despite dismal odds, Peef acquired gainful employment. We watched as friends and neighbors alike pulled in the reigns on their spending. Ultimately, we found that we saw some of our friends even less often than in the years before. The timing seemed perfect for bringing back soup night. So, we sent out a few invites and got to work on our soup.
We hosted our first soup night of 2010 this past Sunday. And gosh, it was like coming home. The regulars came back with a vengeance -- colleagues from Peef's old workplace, friends we haven't seen in weeks (and even months), family we don't get together with nearly often enough. And we had a few amazing new-comers this year. We were privileged to meet fellow food blogger (and "common soul"), Rebecca, from CakeWalk. She brought her friend Sasa, another local foodie; and we had a great time chatting about food like old friends. Bryan, who we met through his work with Jen Ehr Farm, brought his wife, Mrs. Jen Peters, and their son, Oliver, who happens to be the same age as my niece, Reagan. The adults talked, and the kids became fast friends -- playing with Elmo the cat, unlocking hidden treasure, and bringing plenty of boundless 2-year-old energy to the party.
Despite its name, soup night is really far more about the company than the soup. It's about that feeling you get when you're surrounded by the people who really count. When all the turmoil outside doesn't seem to matter so much inside. And those times when life is... well... just plain good.
I know it's simple. But, I can't help from thinking... maybe all the world REALLY needs is another soup night.
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