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Front Yard People Celebrate 4th of July

We partnered with Kristin Schell, blogger of The Turquoise Table. Check out how she builds community by celebrating 4th of July with friends and neighbors.

Love invites us to move outside into the neighborhood.

The day the Turquoise Table went missing, my phone was flooded with texts from concerned friends. We were out of town for the 4th of July holiday, and our neighbors knew we weren’t home to see that the table had mysteriously disappeared from our front yard.

“You’ve been robbed!”

“Pranksters have done something with the Turquoise Table!”

One friend even texted me a photo of the exact spot where the table normally sits.

The Turquoise Table has become part of the landscape in our neighborhood, a symbol of people belonging. Naturally, they were concerned. What my friends and neighbors didn’t know was it was in good hands.

Shannon, who lives around the corner, had arranged for the table to be part of the neighborhood’s 4th of July parade. The Turquoise Table was safe and sound on a flatbed truck two blocks away.

turquoise table

I had nothing to do with the idea or planning for the parade. My neighbors made the fun happen, creating an entire Front Yard People theme for the float. Over the next three days, friends sent pictures and posted Facebook status updates documenting the progress as the float came together. Being away gave me perspective to see Front Yard People in action.

The float represented years of memories, trust, laughter, tears and investment in each other’s lives. All the small moments of gathering in simple ways manifested themselves as our neighbors rode as Front Yard People on a red, white and turquoise float in the parade. We did it! And we’re still doing it!

Front Yard People Turquoise Table 4th of July Parade Float

Opening Our Lives and Homes to Others

In the beginning, the day the unpainted picnic table arrived at our house, I posed a hypothesis: What if we were to take all of our backyard activities—our birthday parties, bubble blowing, messy art activities, barbecue suppers—and simply move them to the front yard?

What would life look like if we lived as Front Yard People?

Community was always there, ours for the taking. We simply needed a nudge, a new way to see through the busyness and distractions in life. A place to slow down, sit down and be present.

The Turquoise Table is that place. By design, picnic tables are not a place to sit alone; they invite community, especially when you gather out front, where everyone can see. It’s a place where all people belong, and belonging is the ultimate gift of community.

The 4th of July is a perfect opportunity to bring neighbors together. Whether you gather for a parade or pot-luck at your Turquoise Table is up to you!

Front Yard People are the ones who raise their hands and say, “I’m all in!” Let’s be people who build our lives around each other, opening our lives and homes to others, one Turquoise Table at a time.

Bringing a dish to your upcoming neighborhood celebration? Try this simple salad that is sweet, salty, bursting with the flavors of summer and perfect for the 4th of July.

Watermelon Feta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 watermelon
  • ½ cup fresh basil, gently torn
  • 1 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1 lime, freshly squeezed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Cube watermelon into bite sized chunks. Drain in a colander. Place watermelon in a large bowl or serving dish. Toss gently with basil and feta. Drizzle salad with fresh lime juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve.

Watermelon Feta 4th of July Silver Caddy

Watermelon Feta Salad 4th of July Vertical

To get updates about the launch of The Turquoise Table’s full, outdoor product collection available at Tuesday Morning this fall, sign up to receive email newsletters HERE!

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Adapted from The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard by Kristin Schell © 2017 Thomas Nelson, www.TheTurquoiseTable.com

Dining and Kitchen, Outdoor, Seasonal
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Kristin Schell

Meet the Contributor

Blog: The Turquoise Table

My home Tuesday Morning location: Burnet Road, Austin, TX

My favorite Tuesday Morning department: That’s like picking a favorite child! Probably seasonal, housewares and food. Oh, and linens.

A little about me: I’m on a mission to love my neighbors. I put an ordinary picnic table in my front yard, painted it turquoise and invited neighbors, friends and even strangers to hang out and do life together at The Turquoise Table. I live in Austin with my husband and our 4 children. My favorite color is turquoise, but I bleed burnt orange for The University of Texas. I believe the answer to world peace might involve a bowl of queso and salty tortilla chips.

What I love to write about: I love bringing people to the table and encouraging others to gather with family and friends, too. My book The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard releases on June 6, 2017 with Harper Collins Christian Publishing.

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6 Comments

  1. Reply Sondramorris50@yahoo.com

    I love this ideal. It is so fitting for neighborhood gatherings. It lets people know that they are loved and welcome that live in your neighborhood and that with neighbors sticking together, we can do great things.

  2. Reply Melinda Shanklin

    Whew! I know for the sure the turquoise table was there on Saturday the 1st, because I saw it in person! A baby fawn even ran out from your flower bed in front of your house. I’m so pleased and not surprised to learn this story had a happy ending! xoxox

  3. Reply Sophia

    What a great story!

  4. Reply Martha

    I totally enjoy your blog. Evidently my parents too were “front yard people.” When I was baby they bought a house on a dirt road with a yard that had two tall beautiful elm trees in the front corners. A few later the road was paved and the diseased elms had to be cut down. To burn up all that wood for a number of years afterwards there was a fire in the front yard most weeks during the summer. My parents who were old time campers threw in plenty of potatoes they roasted without any fancy foil. Out came the butter and salt and over came the neighbors with marshmallows and pop. We kids ran around .and played games like Red Rover or Red Light Green Light. My parents and the neighbors sang old patriotic and folk songs. If only we had a turquoise table like yours.
    Thanks for bringing up a memory.
    Martha L.

  5. Reply Barbara

    Nice way to get to know your neighbor’s. Plus alot of fun.

  6. Reply Joan Delight Plaster

    O how I miss my Austin Burnet Road store. Had shopping adventures there for over 20 years. Have moved back to my hometown in Roanoke, Virginia so : New Tuesday Morning adventures await!!