Book Lover’s Corner: “Dinner With The Smileys”

(WTNH)– Author Sarah Smiley talks about her book “Dinner With The Smileys” the memoir she wrote about the weekly Sunday night dinners she held while her Navy Pilot husband was deployed.

When her Navy Pilot husband, Dustin, left for his overseas deployment, her three young sons said dinnertime was when they would miss their dad the most. The thought of looking at Dustin’s empty seat for an entire year was unbearable. She had to fill it, even as she knew, of course, that no one could truly take Dustin’s place. So they decided to invite one guest from the community over for dinner each Sunday, and from that our tradition of “Dinner With The Smileys” was born.

She talks about her year of hosting 52 dinners and the things she learned from them, including:

– Building your own Community: She learned that military families don’t have a monopoly on loneliness, and people from every walk of life need a support system.
– The Homefront Connection: What is life really like for military families? Her dinners provided a behind-the-scenes look.
– How Relationships Evolve around the Table: She encouraged her three boys (all under 12) to choose dinner guests, and she got to know her sons from a new perspective.
– Getting out of your Comfort Zone: She was not a confident chef and had never hosted dinners before, but  she tried something new, and look what happened!

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