At Our Kitchen Table

Last fall, as Dimitri and I headed out on the Community-Driven Tour 2008, we had a simple mandate from friends and colleagues: Blog about it. Had I been on Twitter at the time, I would have tweeted about it, too. These days, it is easy to share life as it is happening.

Not so ten years ago, though. The work Dimitri and I were doing in those days was, in some ways, even more of an adventure than it is now, as we would spend a whole year or more working intensively with a client at a time, always in amazing places.

Our year-long effort in a Mexican fishing village. The two years we spent along the Grand Canyon with the Hualapai tribe. Even life at home, in a land where kids have no idea that Presidents’ Day is a holiday, but they get off school for rodeo.

In the late 1990’s, we got the idea to create a kitchen table site, where we could share those adventures over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with folks who wanted to join us. And with that, At Our Kitchen Table was born.

Like everything on the web back then, At Our Kitchen Table was a static site. Even so, we tried to create a tone where people felt they were part of the journey – that they were sitting there with us. It was a ton of work, but we loved it. We told stories, showed photos, shared recipes – we even sold the photo card sets that we now only give as gifts.

In 2001, when one of our interns headed out to Niger with the Peace Corps, we added a section to the site where Brett could tell his own stories.

This morning, in reading a post by Shawna Coronado at her blog (which I recommend to you), The Casual Gardener, I was reminded of our own kitchen table site. And so I took an hour to roam around the stories and photos and recipes once more. (Yes, Elizabeth, it’s still up and has been all along!)

And while it’s not a Rock Out, I thought it might be a good Happy New Week and Happy New Month gift to get you going.  I invite you,on this great morning, to relax with a cup of coffee At Our Kitchen Table!

So much has changed in the ten years since we created the site. But of all the things that have stayed the same in that ten years, there are two that jump out as being more important than any others: We still love doing what we do. And we still love having our friends and colleagues share the adventure as we go.

Have a great week, all!

5 Responses to At Our Kitchen Table

  1. Thank goodness for the Kitchen Table, where we first came together.

    Until this blog, I didn’t realize one way the Table continues to be part of my thinking. Recently, a client who is deeply involved in the non-linear work of real community-wide change was trying to figure out a structure. Who comes to what meetings, for what purpose?

    At one point, it became clear that what was happening on the call among informally gathered leaders was something special. This was it! It was the group of trusted advisors, thought leaders, innovators, whom we turn to when we need to figure out something really important.

    We realized that, in addition to the formal structure, this community network would thrive with a Kitchen Cabinet. Gathering virtually around the table, keeping the vision alive.

    Yes, Hildy, your original Kitchen Table is alive and well!

  2. Thanks so much, Shawna. And you are so right – we get one trip around and it is really an incredible ride. Thanks for your own blog – I’m enjoying it as well!

  3. Thanks, Susan! We are blessed to do the work we do. If I ever get around to re-doing this blog, I would like to make it more like that old Kitchen Table site – more depth, more ability to share stories and adventures (and recipes). Your note gives me one more reason to put that closer to the front burner!