Monday, April 27, 2009


When I think of House Guests, I want to think of people in slim tennis whites, whiling away a sunny morning, languidly pouring coffee from a graceful long-spout silver pot, before heading out on the boat for the afternoon, then coming in at sunset, just in time to shower and change for a candlelight dinner of lovely food and lively conversation. Or from my own lifetime centered amongst some of the most gracious Southern entertaining---the garden parties and lacy hats and white-coated waiters, with the juleps in the frosty cups echoing the scent of mint released from lawn with every sandal-step.

I’d love to host those gatherings, but lack of court and lake and moss-strewn allee are not the only drawbacks in my neck of the woods---things like that just don’t happen during any of our visits. We cook a lot and eat together and go sightseeing and pick out fun restaurants, but no matter the preparation, no matter the planning---I stack the cloths, napkins, silver, china ready to hand; the tables are set up on the patio, the chairs carted up and out amongst the hosta beds and beneath the trees. Then somehow we all seem to throw things into a pile of good food and talk and mismatched glasses and a stray Tupperware amongst the china and sometimes the battered old salt-and-pepper from the stove, and just have our own brand of good time. It's comfortable and homey and totally US.

And today I am foggy as all-get-out, with so many clips of moments and words and gestures and colors and warmth and bright---a great and glorious film-display that clicks along at a great gallop like a slide-show gone amok---interspersed, of course, by the totally intrusive hackhack that seemed to be my odious mantra the entire time. I’d run astray of some Lime-Away in my zeal to have everything just so, and acquired a persistent cough that intruded on many moments, sometimes sending me fleeing for another room to get composed enough to return.

It was a wonderful gathering---all and more and too much sugar for a dime. I was all so carried away with the they're finally here that the time spun WAY out of control and was used up betimes with the force of afterburners. I SO wanted it to be memorable (Yup, it was mostly unforgettable) and really nice and gracious and the food and conversation and setting just so. Visions of lovely collations at softly draped tables under the trees---those are dreams of another plane, I think, in my own milieu, for I have the intent, the know-how, even the lovelies for the stageset of it, but only in the intent and the work to make it so---all that prep and then we were so excited we just grabbed stuff and strewed it around and wallowed in every moment of a comfortable togetherness of old friends. I just LOVED it.

And moiré non,


Tonja said...

I'm sure your guests had a wonderful time...and it sounds as if you did, too.

Those visions of 'gatherings' that are in our heads are usually just that...visions. How it 'could' be...but not at all what it 'will' be. But, still we plan and hope. Funny thing is...however it turns's usually 'just right'.

Could I possibly have used any more ''' and...?

Jess said...

I can tell you right now it was unforgettable for them as well. She hasn't stopped talking about it since she got off the plane. Can you all do less next time so I can get some peace and quiet?! :) Glad you all had fun!

racheld said...

I try to keep that in mind, but still I endeavor, and still I fall short.

AWWWW, JBear, Dear!!!

We had a super marvelous time, and I'm glad they enjoyed it. Thanks for looking in---the more Shooks the merrier!!