About “Leave the Dishes”

Welcome to my table.  The meal is finished; we’ve poured a second cup of coffee or another glass of wine, pushed back our chairs and settled in for good conversation.  We’ll Leave the Dishes for later so we can nourish our souls.

Why is after dinner conversation so important?

When we get busy with day to day living, eating can become one more thing to mark off our list.  But take a moment and remember the last time you sat around a table, shared a meal and then kept the conversation going while your food settled a bit.  (I’ll wait while you remember.)  You’re probably either 1) smiling at the memory, or 2) wondering why you don’t do it more often.

Our schedules often urge us to rush.  But sharing food and conversation causes us to almost involuntarily take a breath and slow down.

While dinner conversations often involve necessary chit chat (how was your day?), after dinner conversations seem to be deeper (I’d love to hear how you…, how are you dealing with…, have you decided whether…?)  Aren’t we all looking for that connection?

Where is your “dinner table”?

Obviously, these conversations aren’t limited to a dinner table.  The location isn’t the most important thing — time is.  We need time to have conversations, create memories and create history with each other. But we all need to eat. So why not combine our need to eat with our need to connect?

How after dinner conversations became important to me

Our kids Andy and Caitlyn are grown, but when they were very young, we wanted to be the primary influences in their lives. But it was difficult to get us in the same place at the same time.  Can you relate?  Dinner became our connecting point. Not every dinner had spectacular food OR conversation. But every now and then we’d find a time no one wanted to leave!

Why the blog Leave the Dishes – After Dinner Conversations?

I’d rather talk about feelings than the weather. I’d rather share failures and lessons learned than minutia of the day. In fact, the details of the meal cause me more anxiety than the possible conversations. I never think, “What will we talk about?”  I tend to think, “What if they don’t like the food?”

Leave the Dishes will encourage you to invite people to your table. I’ll occasionally share recipes, and I’ll be honest with you about attempting to overcome my inner doubts about inviting people in.

Some posts will be my version of after dinner sharing — thoughts on faith, struggles, being intentional.

What’s your role?

Please, leave a comment. I promise to respond.  After all, it’s the give and take that makes conversation, and conversations help build relationships.

Please sign up with your email address so you don’t miss any posts (upper right hand corner of this or any page on Leave the Dishes).

Some of life’s greatest lessons and best laughter have happened around our table after dinner.  With Leave the Dishes I’ve set a virtual table.  Please join me.  And plan to stay awhile.

October 15, 2014


  • Michelle

    I’m really interested in the art of real conversation too, Danita. Do you know the work of philosopher Theodore Zeldin (The Oxford Muse)? I attended his 76th birthday party in Regents Park London – a public event where there was no food on the menu – only questions: Entree, main and dessert! I met three strangers and had three intimate conversations. It was so enlightening and uplifting to connect to people in a real way. I love the idea of your various gatherings at home and I’m excited to hear what emerges from them.

    October 22, 2014 at 12:42 am Reply
  • Sharisse @ sharissepieces

    Stopping by from our Intentional Blogging group! You have great things going on here. Keep on writing! Looking forward to catching up with you.

    February 3, 2015 at 6:37 pm Reply
  • Michelle

    Ahhh, so refreshing! I grew up having conversations around the table that was always big enough to squeeze in just 1 more spot set in our big, outdated country kitchen. Many, many wonderful friendships were made and built there. It’s also what we strive to achieve in our own home with 5 young boys. Our conversations have shifted from my husband and I alone to everyone taking a turn to share their day.

    I’m so pleased to have found your site and look forward to ‘Leave the Dishes’ with you.

    April 11, 2015 at 11:24 am Reply
  • Sally Ferguson

    I love the plan of setting the table for conversation. Thought starters would be helpful, as we engage a new generation of grandkids!

    May 19, 2015 at 9:25 pm Reply
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