I'm here. I'm still around, though my recent postings ---or lack of---have belied my presence (or presence of mind, which is another failing, entirely, and easy to blame my fuzzy brain).
Caro and I have spent the last couple of days making lists and tidying the house, decorating for Thanksgiving, planning the dinner and other small activities, as well as a little tea-party for the first weekend in December. We've discussed it over quiet first cups in the early morning, as the house is still, and our Small One not yet arrived, or visiting Memaw that day.
We've written down stuff, looked at recipes, and planned cloths and tables and trays and what will go on them. We've decided on a definitely Southern slant to our little collation, and have discussed toasted pecans (yes, in a pretty silver bowl) and cheese pennies (also yes, with a glass of wine or mulled cider upstairs as everyone gathers). She and I planned and executed so many parties together over the years, it's like old times, deciding and planning and listing and making out schedules.
Paminna Cheese---of course, small triangles cut protractor-true in tea-stands on each table, along with cucumber hearts and egg salad on trimmed many-grain bread. We've discussed glasses and china and should-we-use-the-burgundy-plates-there-are-plenty-of-those, or perhaps the two sets-for-eight of the practically-identical-white-rimmed-in-silver which belonged to my Mother. It's such fun, and so entertaining, and silly-as-all-get-out for two ladies to spend so much time at. We coulda gone on a cruise in the time it's taken. And it's probably been as much fun.
Still, we part, we sleep, she goes to work, and on the next meeting, we pop right back into planning mode, without any introduction of the subject. I go upstairs in my jammies, bearing my hot cup carefully as I climb; she interrupts whatever she's doing, and "What about those little plates you got at the Flea Market last year?---they'd be perfect for the trifle," stands in for "Good Morning!! Did you sleep well?" or "HI!!! I'm glad you're home!! How was work?" as we fall right back into plannit mode.
Then I rack my brain to remember last year, let alone a purchase at some ephemeral market---Oh, yes, I say---I've been meaning to use those, and they'll go well with the embroidered jewel-tone cloth. "But I've been thinking we'd use that on the dresser upstairs," she says. And on we go.
I have things to be doing, plumbers to call, the lawn crew to come excavate us from a forest's-worth of fallen leaves and limbs, writing a-waiting, a little girl who's with us several days a week, the HOLIDAYS coming, and we're just ladies of leisure, as if we'll just wave our fans and all this live-in staff of ours will Presto the whole thing into being in a blink.
But we love the planning---I've always enjoyed getting ready for company---smoothing the guest-room duvet, plumping the Battenburg pillows, making several Things In Dishes to whisk out of the fridge when needed. I already have two casseroles, a ham, and four quarts of spaghetti sauce in the FREEZER FOR CHRISTMAS, for Pete's sake!
But it's fun, and we're grasshoppering, and I've been remiss in keeping up my end of this ethereal bargain made when I sent out that first hesitant, logorrheic post into the Wide World.
We missed out on having our Lawn Tea this year, and for the past several years. We've firmed up the plans for this Christmas one, and I'll will be sharing more of the couldn't-be-less-important details in the days to come. Folks are invited, the cloths are pressed; I have a brand-new jar of Wright's, heavy with the promise of sparkle, and the lift of a prospective party in my heart.
I hope you'll join in the preparation as it progresses.