A Crowded Table
This past weekend, we held another Carpentry Course, one of our programs of the Red Ants Pants Foundation. Taught by women, for women. Beginning carpentry was the focus, learning everything from pounding nails to running table saws. It’s a grand time filled with really strong women, expanding comfort zones, sawdust, empowering moments, and perhaps most importantly, really, really good food.
Our dear friend Claudia is the chef and she’ll be the first to tell you in her sing-song Colombian accent “Ladies, the most important ingredient in all my cooking is love!”
And she is never wrong.
We hold this course 20 miles west of White Sulphur on the Camas Creek Cattle and Sheep Co., better known as the Doggett Ranch. Jamie and Jock Doggett, longtime friends and community pillars, host us at their place, camping in the pasture and teaching in the barn. Typically, we have our chainsaw course taking place concurrently, but this year we had a smaller group. So, Jamie insisted on inviting us to eat inside their home rather than on our dusty picnic tables.
It is worth mentioning that Jamie stops short at nothing shy of 100%. There were new tablecloths and themes for each meal. Wine glasses and individual salt and pepper shakers graced each place. Saturday night she insisted on bringing out her Grandmother’s china, as well as her high heels (which lasted roughly seven minutes on her feet).
Jock in his humble, quiet way, after donning a fresh pair of suspenders, poured wine for the ladies. Toasts were made. Bellies and hearts were full. They in fact, still are.
Reflecting around the bonfire we were all so touched by the generosity, the humor, the intimate transition of strangers quickly turning into family.
“If it’s love that we give, it’s love that we reap.” – The Highwomen
If you have not heard this song yet, please take a listen. It hits home in all the right places.
“I want a house with a crowded table.
And a place by the fire for everyone.
Let us take on the world while we’re young and able.
And bring us back together when the day is done.”
– The Highwomen
Thank you, Jamie and Jock for the home.
Thank you, Claudia for the meals.
Thank you, instructors for the teaching.
Thank you, ladies for building the chairs.
And to all of us for making it a crowded table.
Way too many kudos for that rancher chic on the Doggett ranch.
May your bounty and generosity of spirit grow equally in measure for years to come. I am harkened to memories of your grandmother Polly, Sarah–for setting precedent for you and laying your first table with Nancy and John and so many others. I raise a glass to all your efforts and new connections and lifelong family expansion.