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What did you learn at your Grandma’s Kitchen Table? What lessons? What feelings come up when you remember what it was like sitting at your grandma’s kitchen table?

So many options – So little time!

 At my Grandma Wright’s kitchen table outside of Russell Springs, Kansas, I learned about family and love. Grandma spread the love by teaching us all to make pies! It almost seemed like a ritual. Family rituals are to make connections and show love. That is what she did. We’d head out to Grandma’s house, then pick some fruit or rhubarb out of her garden. Maybe go to the root cellar to get a jar of preserves for the pie. These types of rituals can be significant for all families but vital for global nomads.

I am an expert at making pies, mostly because I made a ton of pies in 4-H when I was young. I am a firm believer in the mastery of something when you are young, and you still think it is fun.

In 4-H, I did a lot of different activities. I raised sheep; JC and Casey were my pets until I sold them. This money went towards University, and I was only ten years old when I raised them for almost a year. I did public speaking. I did knitting (I still can’t cast off). I made clothes; I cooked more food than you can imagine and I even did leather work. Adults in the community spent time teaching us how to do things. We had pride in our finished products. We won ribbons, and if our projects were good enough we could take it to state and compete with lots of other children. My exposure to 4-H helped me get one of my scholarships to college.

I was the Betty Crocker award winner, meaning I had to take a written test about cooking and prove that I understood the concepts behind ‘cooking.’ When you are trying to put yourself through college, all scholarships are huge, and you are so appreciative to get them. I am glad I learned how to cook when I was young; I am delighted I was able to apply that knowledge into math, science and other aspects of the school. But I am most proud of is being able to teach my children how to make a pie! It all started around a kitchen table.

FIGT’s Kitchen Table

When FIGT was first starting out, they would meet around a kitchen table. Ruth Van Reken shared that when they were planning the third FIGT conference, John Aoun, Betty Mullin and Joyce Blake would come to her home every Monday night to work and plan that conference. They were all volunteers, and they found the value of the “kitchen table.” We are lucky that FIGT kept that concept as it grew.

  • At #FIGT2019, I am honored to be able to present Bangkok 101: A Mother’s View vs Her High School Child’s View

Having lived five years in Bangkok with a teenager, I will cover three events where our perceptions differed greatly from mother to son. We will share the challenges of making connections in this city. Then the group will have a lively discussion on making and keeping connections and the importance of family traditions.

The good news is at all #FIGT conferences you can learn and share around the kitchen tables! Please note, no pie will be served at this kitchen table talk. The FIGT rituals of Kitchen Table discussions are to make connections, grow and show compassion.

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