Lake Michigan provided the beautiful backdrop for my first Red Tent Dinner. I invited 7 ladies to gather on my patio to savor the goodness of wine and salads. Each one brought their favorite salad to share and I provided my signature chocolate chip cookies. There is nothing like women, salads and cookies to make for one fine evening.

It proved to be a sacred time where each lady shared from her heart where “welcome” has resonated in her life. As responses were given I know each one felt affirmed, heard and enjoyed for who she is and what she brought to the table. There was laughter, tears and sighs as we held the beauty of each heart. One thing for sure…we knew one another better as the evening ended.

Theme: As we progressed through dinner each lady was invited to share a story from her life based on the August RTL theme of “Welcome”. The following prompts were provided for those who wanted one: Welcome Home, Welcome Joy, Welcome Sorrow, Welcome Back, A Hundred Thousand Welcomes, Welcome Change and more.

As I reflect on the evening I have much to be grateful for: the whisper of the waves, the glorious late summer flowers, the gentle breeze, the lovely faces and the blessings of each heart.

We all have a longing for laughter, connection and feeling known. Consider hosting your own Red Tent Dinner.


MJMary Jane Hamilton has grown to love her sense of style and her peaceful lake living. Mother of 2 and grandmother of 6, she has a wonderful capacity to love and is still active as The Tooth Fairy. She is extremely fond of her dachshunds, who rarely venture from her lap, and enjoys biking with her husband of 44 years. She is rekindling her writing skills and finding it life giving.
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