It’s a Tradition

Tradition. Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as a fiddler on the roof! – Fiddler on the Roof

Like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, I like traditions. In a world that’s often shaky at best, traditions keep a person grounded. That’s true, at least, for me. That’s why when Court’s dad and I split up, I tried very hard to keep our Christmas traditions the same for Court and me. We went out and bought a live Christmas tree. When we got home, I tried to cut off a bit of the bottom like my husband had always done. Unfortunately, I was using a completely inadequate tool, and ended up crying and saying words that poor 5-year-old Court should not have had to hear. And trying to get the tree up into a stand didn’t work as well as expected. Needless to say, the next year I went out and bought a artificial tree and a new tradition was born.

Many of us try to carry on the traditions of our childhood. For example, my mother always made prime rib for our New Year’s Day dinner. Despite the fact that beef is traditionally served at Christmas, my mother proudly served her roast beast a week later. And so, that’s what I did. From the time I took over hosting New Year’s dinner, I served prime rib on New Year’s Day. There were many years when our kids were young adults who looked green and queasy at the dinner table, having celebrated a little too much on New Year’s Eve. Still, the prime rib took center stage on our dinner table.

Bill always took his kids to the Peck House in Empire, Colorado, on Christmas Eve. It was an hour drive, and often in bad weather; nevertheless, like Santa Claus, a Peck House dinner meant Christmas Eve. Once Bill and I became a couple, Court and I joined them. We spent 15 Christmas Eves at the Peck House. And then one year they turned us down be cause they didn’t take reservations for 10. No exceptions. And we had 10 people. So that tradition ended. From then on, we tried different restaurants, but it never was the same.

The thing about traditions is that they can’t be changed. Tweaked, maybe, just a bit. But the basic tradition foundation must be the same. The Pandemic of 2020/21 kicked many traditions right where it hurts. Take our Mother’s Day tradition, for example. For nearly 20 years, Bill and I have joined my sister Jen and her son B.J. at the Greenbriar Inn in Boulder for Mother’s Day brunch. The restaurant served a amazing brunch. We would spend several hours enjoying the wonderful offerings.

Of course, Mother’s Day 2020 was spent quarantining in our very own homes, hovering behind masks, and waving to our loved ones on Facetime. No brunch. It was only one other tradition in a list of traditions that was set aside. But on Mother’s Day 2021, Americans are starting to tentatively venture out into real life once again. And so did we. Once again Bill and I made our way to the Greenbriar Inn, where we met Jen and B.J. The tradition had to be tweaked, of course, since buffets are currently on the no-go list. But we enjoyed food from a wonderful brunch menu, and enjoyed each other’s company even more. Our stomachs filled, and this was what was left at the end of the meal…..

I love traditions. Especially when they include food and family.

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