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March 28, 1996 - Image 26

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-28

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12B - The Michigan Daily - Wedse4 te. - Thursday, March 28, 1996
GUESS WHO 'S COMING TO DINNER?
ach Tuesday night for more than 29 years, Mary and George
M1Lindquist have opened their Ann Arbor home to the community,
creating a family that goes beyond mere relations.
- %Their hospitality and generosity include the long-standing tradition
of leaving open an invitation to students and community members for
a home-cooked meal once each week. Almost three decades ago, the
= Lindquists began inviting a few foreign students to a free home-cooked
meal as part of a program through the Ann Arbor Christian Reform
Church.
But now those weekly dinners have grown. Mary said she sees
anywhere from five to45 people inherhome each week and enjoys their
company, conversations and smiles. She also said she and her husband
even hosted the dinners early in their marriage during times of greater
financial difficulty so as to be able to give back to the community and
provide a home for those who are far away from their own fainilies.
Mary and George also hope to continue their tradition into the future.
"Every decade that I've gotten olderlifehasgottenbetter and better,'
Mary said Tuesday night, while entertaining the guests she considers
Mary Lndquist delivers rising bread to the oven while surveying the pre-dinner chaos that family.
reigns in her kitchen. While anyone is welcome in the Lindquist home, a corps of familiar
faces returns each week to share a few moments and touch base with a
community of friends.
Maija Kaldjian, a retired teacher, makes the desserts.
John Vredeveld brings the milk.
Ruth Brend, a former professor of linguistics at Michigan State
University, makes a salad.
Nan VanDyke, who works at University Hospitals in the biochemi-
cal genetics department,has akeytothe Lindquists' home and hosts the ,
dinners whenever they go on vacation. And nothing gets in the way of
the weekly dinner. "I remember times when I was upstairs sick in bed
and dinner was going on downstairs," Mary reflected.
Mary Lindquist, who started and is head of the Ann Arbor Hospice*
Care Center, puts together the dinner each week despite a busy sched-
ule. She often takes time to discuss important issues with the young
people who attend her meals.
Those atthemeals share birthday celebrations, laughs, tears and fond
memories. The Lindquists are quick to roll out another table to accom-
modate larger crowds, and, rounding out the division of labor, the men
do the dishes. Mary assures everyone that if they come close to running
out of food, she can always clean out her refrigerator to feed all the
hungry mouths. If there is surplus, it goes home in plastic bags and
haphazard containers with the hungry students.
Mary and George extend their closeness to the rest of the "family"
ith theyhave gatheredfor Tuesday-night meals. Visitors totheLindquist
home are sure to leave with a full stomach, a doggy bag, a hug, and an
r « invitation to return.

Terry Wilhelm, a computer consultant at Ford Motor Co., carries out a cake for Kathy Hillig's
birthday celebration. Both women are long-time dinner participants at the Lindquists' home. Terry first came to the Lindquists'
20 years ago as a student. Kathy met and courted her husband of 15 years at the Tuesday dinners.

Phil VanDyKe, an Applied intelligence Systems employee, Jonn
Vredeveld, and George Mavarodes, a former University philosophy
and religion professor, contribute a complex and specific system
of diswashing to the Tuesday-night dinner proceedings.

Above: Mary dispenses dessert and advice to graduate
student Julie Schuitema, who has been attending the
dinners for 11/2 years.
Below: Phil VanDyke wheels an extra table out of
storage to accommodate arriving students after the
dining room table has reached maximum capacity.

Mary and George Lindquist steal a moment from cleaning up to share an after-dinner kiss in their kitchen Tuesday.

A t

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