Tonight was taco night in our house, a tradition my sister started years ago, before I moved away. It is still something I enjoy doing, though it isn’t the same without my sister. For us, taco night wasn’t just a meal, it was a occasion; one that usually took up a good part of the day. There was shopping to be done, laughs to be had, and much to discuss.
Taco night, as it came to be known, usually started in the early afternoon with a quick trip to the store, which was anything but quick. Living in a small sleepy town, a trip to the store was a social event; we always ran into no less than nine people we had to stop and catch up with. Eventually we would get all the necessary ingredients and find our way to a checkout so that we could get home to take care of the business at hand: cooking. It is worth mentioning, and probably not surprising given all the interruptions, that we sometimes forgot at least one crucial ingredient, and had to make a second trip to the store.
The next step, of course, was the cooking; my favorite part. We had a ball, laughing and talking while we cooked. Though we’ve never tested this theory, everyone agrees that my sister is one of those ladies that could cook an old boot and make it delicious. Also, to say that “we” cooked is somewhat of a misnomer; she did the cooking while I watched and talked. I was, however, put in charge of the lettuce, onions, and tomato chopping.
Taco night wasn’t just a meal. It was a happy occasion that I enjoyed with my sister, and I miss it. It wasn’t about the shopping, or the cooking, or even the eating; it was about the love, and the strengthening the familial bonds.