Monday, July 30, 2012
A Summer Gathering
Christmases were always celebrated here when Gram was living, but we had only just moved in before last Christmas- and what rooms weren't being fixed up were barely unpacked, so for the first year, this house didn't host Christmas. Aunt Margie, Matt's not-quite-70 year old aunt, said it was the first Christmas she had ever spent outside of these four walls.
So Matt and I determined to have a Summer Gathering, where people could roam out of doors and I could fill bellies with garden things. A sort of "Christmas in July". Saturday was the day. Not everyone could make it, but a good many did, despite the busyness of summer. Days before I had prepared and cleaned and planned--everything had to be "just so" because this would be the first time many of the people coming would see the house since Gram was living in it.
I painted a sign. Matt fixed the bathroom faucet after months of not working. Corynn gathered basketfuls of Lace. Andrew brought in armloads of vegetables. Every square inch of the house was organized-even closets and bookshelves~ just days before. Matt took down the half-down-already ceiling in the mudroom and replaced it. I made batches and batches of lemonade and Peppermint Tea. Matt mowed the lawn. I hollowed out cucumbers and marinated chicken and Frank Sinatra serenaded me as I sliced squash. I admired the most beautiful salad ever in which all ingredients save two were from my own garden and lamented that I was1-2 weeks shy of using my own fresh tomatoes.
I took no pictures during the party. I was too busy flitting from person to person, refilling drinks and serving chocolate cake...but I enjoyed watching people stroll through my garden and Mattie, sweating over the grills. I enjoyed sitting under the hanging lights of the tree and visiting with family across the picnic tables and watching Nathan swinging sleepily in one of the hammocks.
And now, two days later and the party over, I am washing dotted glass and floating robin's egg blue on the wind and gathering up canning jars of flowers and serving leftovers with every meal and wondering how will I ever use the extra 40+ hotdogs buns I bought??
And also wondering~ how in just two days there are smudges on the bathroom mirror and dollhouse clothes under the girls' bed and man clothes on the floor of our bedroom?
Sometimes it is good to have a party every now and then, if just to have a clean house for two seconds.