We like to host. It’s something that Okey and I have done since the dawn of our relationship.
The dorm rooms I had in college as an upperclassmen had a kitchenette. The dormitory was initially created for married couples, although they didn’t serve that purpose when I lived there. It had a little stove with two or three burners, an itty bitty electric oven which heated irregularly, and a mini fridge under the counters. In addition to the study desks furnished by the university, there was a table and a couple of chairs. Whenever we’d make our dinners with our friends, we’d ask them to bring their table with them. We also always ended up inviting people who would ask to invite someone else, and our slogan became “What’s one more?”
Well… Now over ten years later… We aren’t college students anymore. We have a little townhouse with a galley kitchen, but we can do so much in it. When planning out our guest list, we now joke, “What’s one more family?”
Several years ago, I had a big celebration for my golden* birthday. (Any reason for a party, right?) We invited friends, neighbors, and family that lived in the state, and I think we ended up with a total of 28 people. That’s a lot of people for a townhouse, but we made use of our backyard and common area. It was one of the largest parties we had ever hosted, and I think it was quite the success.
Yesterday, it felt like we had doubled that number even though the final head count was 29. Fifteen adults were in attendance, as were their 14 children! There was a lot of commotion, and despite the muddy pond the kindergartners ended up making in the backyard and drudging through the basement, I think we survived pretty much unscathed**.
Okey made his famous ribs and chicken… both so moist they fell off the bones. I made my Indian Buttered Chicken and his Grandma’s Butterscotch Pie. I think the key to the party’s success was making the buttered chicken and pies in advance. This allowed me to relax a bit before the party instead of spending hours in a hot kitchen the day of the party.
So while a great time was had, the purpose of the party was a little sad. You see, the reason for this party was to say good-bye to a great family in our church.
Due to the nature of the husband’s military career, the family is used to moving. However, they expressed sadness as their family had actually put down roots here in Virginia. They said it is sad leaving this time because of the church family they had come to love.
I’m going to miss my friend’s incredible gentleness evident to all (Philippians 4:5). I’m going to miss her wisdom as a biological and an adoptive mother. I’m going to miss her sweet boys and their grinning faces. I hope that they know that they made an impact on me and all of the other families that came yesterday to say good bye.
* A golden birthday is when you turn the age of the date you were born. I was born on the 28th, and so I celebrated my golden birthday when I turned 28.
** I highly recommend Resolve and Comet as cleaning agents.