We are indebted to the wonderful women who provided us with beautiful tables and shared their professional hints for festive entertaining during the fall season. Our vintage table was created by Gerri Johnson, owner of Farm Salvation in Medical Lake, and it features her mother's china.
At the photo shoot, I asked Gerri if she actually uses the beautiful, hand-painted pieces — she does — and if it would upset her if someone broke a dish during a gathering. After all, her mother had painstakingly searched for and purchased them after her original set was lost in a fire. "No, it wouldn't," she replied. "The day is the important thing. Relationships are fragile and may break and never recover," she firmly told me, but plates or cups — "it's just stuff." In fact, all our contributors stressed the importance of remembering that the point of a shared meal is really what happens around the table, not on it.
Also in this issue, we explore alternatives to deal with chronic aches and pains and find there are so many things to try that don't involve addictive medication or unpleasant side-effects. And we delve into one of the most vexing issues of parenthood: sibling rivalry. Why do kids fight, and is there hope they'll ever stop? We have answers.