Hey, y’all made it! Come in, come in. We’re so glad you could make it for dinner tonight. You know Dad and his grill—he’s making so much food that it’s going to take an army bigger than all of us Calvanos to eat it. So I hope you brought your appetite.
But first, let me introduce you to everybody. You know Joseph and Ava, right? No? I can’t believe you haven’t met them yet. Joseph is the vet here in River Falls, so if you have any pet needs, he’s your guy. And Ava is a photographer. She does portraits and landscapes. You can find her pictures at Henderson’s Art Gallery if you want something beautiful to decorate your walls.
Oh, don’t tell me to hush, Ava, I’m drumming up business for you.
Anyway, you can read Joseph and Ava’s second chance story in Pieces of Forever. It’s actually pretty sweet. But you didn’t hear that from me.
Moving on to Lydia and Liam, I’m positive you know who they are. I mean, Lydia is only one of the biggest stars in country music. I was a fan of her songs before I even knew she was our half-sister—and I’m not just saying that because she’s standing right here. And Liam was practically like a brother to me even before he and Lydia got together.
What do you mean, how did a small town electrician meet a country music star? Don’t tell me you haven’t read their story! After dinner, you should rush right out and read it in Songs of Home.
Come on, let me take you to a couple I know you must be familiar with by now. My oldest brother Simeon and his wife Abigail. You’ll have to excuse them for acting like newlyweds even though they’ve been married for over five years now. Their marriage went through some tough times this last little while, what with Abigail’s amnesia and all. But God saw them through it, and now here they are, all dreamy-eyed for each other again. You know how it is.
You don’t? Well, you’d better get going and read their story in Memories of the Heart, then!
Let’s go outside and see who’s manning the grill with Dad. Not that he’ll let anyone else actually touch the thing. Not even me, with my culinary degree.
Oh, Asher and Ireland are out here. You know them, right?
No? Really? You should read their story, Reflections of Love—I hear you can get it for free right here. They went through a doozy of a storm in the mountains while they were chaperoning a youth group trip. Fortunately, Asher’s a park ranger, so he’s had plenty of experience with storms in the wilderness. And even Ireland says she likes the woods more now than she did when she first went on that trip, but I have a feeling that has more to do with the fact that she and Asher found their second chance there than anything else.
And where’s Zeb? Oh, there he is, down by the river. He’s been pretty contemplative lately. But who can blame him? I suppose you heard what happened? It’s so— Oh, you don’t know? Well, you’ll have to read Simeon and Abigail’s story to find out. I still can’t believe it sometimes…
Sorry, just thinking. Let’s see, I guess that’s everyone. Oh wait! I almost forgot about my sister Grace and her husband Levi. They live in Hope Springs, Wisconsin. Have you ever been there? No? You should go! It’s beautiful. Plus, then you can read their story in Not Until Someday.
And I suppose I should also mention Judah, even though he’s pretty much cut himself off from the family. I was young when he left, so I don’t remember him that well, but it depends which of my other siblings you ask if they think we’ll ever see him again. I like to think we will.
Oh, and don’t forget my dad. You can call him Abe. Or Pastor Calvano. Whichever you’re more comfortable with. He’s a pretty cool guy.
Don’t wave that spatula at me, Dad. I’m saying nice things about you.
Anyway, he’s been the pastor at Beautiful Savior here in town for as long as I can remember, and he’s been the rock of our family too. I wouldn’t mind growing up to be like him.
What do you mean, what about me? My story?
Sorry, guess I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Benjamin. The baby of the family, as my siblings point out at every opportunity. I just started a job as head chef at the Depot. Make sure you stop by while you’re in town. I make a great prime rib, if I do say so myself.
What do you mean, you want to know about my love story? I don’t have a love story.
Unless… Have you heard something I haven’t?
I’m the hero of the next book, Whispers of Truth, you say?
I don’t know what to think of that. I know all of my siblings would expect me to say that of course I’m hero material. And I will say it, in front of them. Gotta keep up appearances, you know? But me? A hero? I don’t think so. Who’s the—
Hold on, Dad, we’ll get to the food in a minute. First I have to find out…
Hey wait, where are you going? Before you eat, you have to tell me: who’s the heroine of my story?
Hey, y’all! It’s me, Valerie, popping in to say I hope you enjoyed dinner with the Calvanos! I just love spending time in River Falls with this big, loving family, don’t you? You never know what’s going to happen—at least there weren’t any flying deviled eggs this time! I’m always looking for inspiration for their family get-togethers, so I’d love to hear about your favorite memory of a family dinner (big or small!).