When I think back to the days on the prairie, to the episodes on Little House on the Prairie, community seemed more integrated into everyday life. Sunday picnics by the lake with the townspeople and Reverend Alden stopping by, then staying for dinner, was normal. Caroline Ingalls encouraged us let go of perfection when it comes to having people over. Nothing fancy is the way to go.
Growing up in Community
As I grew up, community had a huge impact on my reality. The word family became to mean more than just blood relatives or the people who shared a roof together. Family included friends and neighbors who did life with us: the people who came through the front door without knocking, who went on vacation with us, and who came to the rescue when the house flooded. Community creates a bigger family of people who care about you. And we all need more of that, especially now in our post-Covid world.
But how do we start meeting face-to-face again and feel comfortable? It’s no longer about having a clean house or a scrumptious meal, the stakes are higher than impressing our friends. Now it’s about keeping people safe physically and emotionally. Being with people is necessary for our souls, we weren’t made to do life alone. Enter in the BYOB BBQ.
The BYOB BBQ
I know it’s a little early to be thinking of BBQs in March, but the idea is the same. Last summer an article in the Washington Post outlined some helpful tips that we can use anytime of year. BYOB has evolved to… bring your own everything. The food, the drink, the atmosphere isn’t the focus anymore, it’s the people. The time together is the objective—masks or no-masks—figure out what works for you and your community. Respect each other above all else.
If a BBQ isn’t your thing, try this same idea with what suits your people:
- Morning Coffee Meetup on your back deck
- Popsicle Party with the neighborhood kids in the cul-de-sac.
- Friday Night Adult Social Hour in an open-air garage.
- BYO Soup Nite on a covered porch with heaters.
So, what are you going to do? Where are you going to start building community again? I’m itching for a BYOB BBQ, Caroline Ingalls style. Let’s ease ourselves back into having people over, nothing fancy is the way to go.
I’d love to hear your ideas, maybe I will even borrow some for myself.
For more advice from Caroline Ingalls and the rest of the prairie, A Prairie Devotional is available wherever books are sold or for signed copies visit my Etsy Shop.