Fridays are “Family Fridays” – a tradition started after Kim’s diagnosis where the kids make an effort to come to the house and one of them is the “chef du jour,” creating the meal for the entire family on that day. Kim loved it. She saw it as bringing the family closer together. As mentioned before, we’ve kept the tradition. The kids still come by every Friday, and someone is “chef du jour” – sometimes more than one person! – and some delightful meal and gathering results.

This week was to be Jeanette’s time in the galley, but she was scheduled to work. No worries! I had purchased some “emergency provisions” just the week before – there were some Gorton’s fish fillets (curious where they find such uniform fish…) and some breaded shrimp. Jessica was charged with bringing a bag of Tater Tots to round out the offerings. A veritable “sea of beige” came out of the oven. I also threw together a coleslaw (which the kids invariably fight over who gets to take the leftovers home…) and a tartar sauce for the fish. It was all actually quite delicious!

But that’s not the purpose of this post.

Following dinner, the girls, Jessica, Jillian, and Tiffany decided to play some Uno at the kitchen table. It was a loud, ribald gathering, and I constantly found myself looking over at them and smiling. I could literally hear Kim joining in on the fun – she loved games, and we would play Uno literally for hours with our granddaughter, Vanessa. Kim would have been right there in the thick of it, just as loud and boisterous as the girls were. Sigh.

She loved games. Clue was her favorite. We have no less than five copies of the game in the house of various “flavors.” There’s a 1960s or 70s copy on the shelf in our bedroom (along with my copy of Risk). There’s a “Harry Potter” version. There’s one with an “alternate crime scene” on the flip side of the board. (Well, one less: Jessie took one home with her Friday night.) Board games saw a lot of use when the kids were small, but not so much once they hit their teens as they started developing interests outside of the home. And, unfortunately, due to a penchant for playing them and then leaving them out, there are many that are missing their pieces.

Little bits of memories. Little reminders of how this house bulged and bustled with the lives therein. Memories that make this house my home.