hub (n): a place that is a center of activity or interest. synonyms: center, core, heart, nucleus, focal point, focus.
For as long as I can remember, the Giblin-side Thanksgiving as been hosted by my mother. Everyone knows this. Our Thanksgiving is such a long-standing tradition, that over the years we have adopted families and friends to join us. In its' prime, probably between 1998 and 2002, I would not be surprised if the number of guests who made their way thru the house on Thanksgiving, whether it be for dinner, dessert, drinks or just to hang out, approached 100. Though this number appears large, it is easily obtainable. If every family member (with numbers constantly increasing as there seems to be at least one Great-Grandchild added to the mix each year) were to make it to the festivities, that's over 50 people right there. So if everyone invites one friend, voila! 100!
When we lived on 52nd street, we could almost see the Country Club Plaza from the house. Therefore, our place was the hub from which people could park and walk to go see one of Kansas City's only known traditions, the plaza lights. If you were friends with me in high school, then you made this trip with my gigantic family, at least once.
This year, as all 34 of us gathered around the dinner table[s], my aunt pointed out something I had NEVER realized. None of us would be there, if it weren't for my Grandma Giblin. She is the matriarch, the hub, the common thread amongst us all. How amazing must it feel, to sit in a decent-size house that hardly fits your entire family? The thought just blew my mind. Curtis exists because of her. (The even scarier part? If you've met her, you can see that there really is a little bit of Jeanne Giblin in every one of us, the "strong" personalities that pervade our family truly begins there.) Later, during the Thanksgiving weekend, Matt and I had a few friends over. Luckily, some out of towners we see only a few times a year made it by the house. (I am sure it was to see me, Curtis can't have provided a bit more motivation than usual to make our house a stop...) While sitting around, relaxing, enjoying a glass of wine and a lit chimnea; yes, it was sweater weather this Thankgiving, one of these guests said, "I love that your house is 'the hub'. I always end up seeing people I wouldn't otherwise get to when stopping by your house." And there it is. The cycle continues, my Grandma is the hub, my mom is the hub, and now, I am the hub. Perhaps, someday, I can sit at the head of the table and look out to a sea of, well, me.