Kentucky Kitchen Table

By Merritt

On November 15th, I did my Kentucky Kitchen table assignment. I was very nervous going into it because I had been paired with a girl who I did not know, nor did I know anyone attending the dinner. However, I can say that I was nervous for no reason because the dinner went amazingly. When I arrived at the street the house was on, I had issues finding it. Luckily the girl who I was paired up with, Lily, arrived soon after me and we found the house together. Lily and I had texted a little bit but this was the first time we had met each other. As we were looking for the house we shared some basic information about ourselves and got to know each other a little bit. We were having dinner at a family friend of Lily’s. Lily’s friend, Paige welcomed us in. Paige has a baby named Bo who is less than a year old. She explained to us how her and her friend Jessie were staying at this house, although they did not live there. Paige and Jessie are missionaries; they are planning on moving to Turkey in several months to pass along their faith. Their husbands were currently on a ten-day trip to Turkey for a missionary expedition so they were staying in the house until their husbands returned on Saturday.

Paige sat us down at the table and laid out plates for us. She was extremely polite and friendly. We shared basic information about our lives such as where we were from, members of our family, what we are studying, etc. Paige cooked meatball soup and cornbread which smelled amazing. She joked around saying she was not a very good cook and apologized if it was not good. Paige served us food and we talked a little long. Her soup and cornbread tasted amazing.  As we were eating Jessie walked in the door. She wasn’t back yet because she had made lasagna for one of her friends and was delivering it to her. Jessie was very similar to Paige in regards to kindness and generosity. Lily and I introduced ourselves to Jessie and we talked a little bit. Jessie also has a young baby who she brought out to us. Both babies were adorable. Jessie’s baby is a girl, so the two joked around saying that their babies were destined to get married. The two women are in their mid-twenties and they both attended WKU. We talked a little about the changes WKU has made since they have been there. They were also curious to hear about my sorority, since neither of them or Lily had been in sororities at WKU.

Jessie and Paige are very devoted Christians. When they asked me about my faith I told them I was Catholic. They were both happy to hear that I have a relationship with God. However, I would not say that I am anywhere near as a good follower as they are. It was very interesting to hear them talk about their faith. They both shared how they believe that God has a plan for them so no matter what happens they trust Him. They shared examples of when they have put their life into Gods hands which amazed me. Although I have a strong faith, hearing them talk about their devotion made me realize just how faithful they are. When we asked what citizenship meant to them, they both thought about it for a while. Jessie answered first explaining how she doesn’t think about citizenship much because she is moving to Turkey in a few months. However, she also added that she is very thankful for the rights that she has living in the US. She explained to us that she felt like she had no place to complain about her right’s because women or people in other countries have nowhere near the rights that we do. Paige agreed with this. Both women shared that they were thankful that God had them born into the US. However, they both stated that although their live on earth is important to them, the real place that they are citizens in is Heaven. Even though I come from a Catholic background I am often not around people who share their faith in a way that Jessie and Paige do. Although I do believe in Heaven and life after death, I focus on my life on earth quite more. This differed from Jessie and Paige who focus more on afterlife. It was very interesting hearing their side of the way they live. They also told us about their plans to move to Turkey. This was extremely interesting to me because I could not imagine moving that far away. Jessie explained that the first three years of their time in Turkey would be spent learning the native language so they could better communicate with the citizens. When we got on the topic of holidays they explained how they planned to have a big Thanksgiving and Christmas since it would be one of their last holidays with their families. After dinner Paige offered us dessert. The women have friends over almost every night of the week so they had a surplus of left over desserts.

From these two women I learned what is was truly like to live your live caring for other people. They live their whole lives trying to better the lives of others. They were both very thankful for the democracy that the United States has to offer. As I mentioned early they both felt no need to complain because the US has given them so much. This was a real eye opener to me because I often hear of people complaining about their rights as a US citizen. Although I do feel that there are some issues with the democracy in the US, and can honestly say that we have it way better than many other countries. Jessie and Paige helped make this more clear to me. In our class we often talk about how we can better the lives of people around us. Jessie and Paige better the lives of people around them by sharing their generosity and kindness with everyone. After an hour and a half Jessie and Paige said it was time to put their babies to bed. However, before Lily and I left Jessie and Paige made sure sure to let us know that we were welcome back at any time. I’m very glad that I had the chance to meet these two wonderful young women and I feel that I would never forget this experience.

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