It ended, as all good St. Patrick's Day parties do, with poetry and tears. Around midnight, a couple friends gathered round the table, sipping the last of the Bushmills while MM and P traded poems and stories they'd written. The perfect ending to a day filled with music, laughter, and Guinness.
MM and I spent a happy morning chopping, sauteing, and steaming up the kitchen with cooking and kisses. Celtic music flowed from Pandora, and we danced as much as we cooked. And I couldn't stop grinning at my handsome husband. Every ten minutes I'd holler, "Thank you for doing this!" I've always wanted St. Patrick's Days like this.
That afternoon, the Pink House slowly filled with friends and laughter. The kids played Candyland and did puzzles. Musicians played. People danced. MM finally perfected his double-fisted (Bushmills in one hand, Guinness in the other) Irish Jig. People stuffed themselves with corned beef and cabbage and Guinness stew. Perfect. Day.
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This Saturday had a similar feel. We'd scheduled a work day for the back yard and a gringolada party with my in-laws. The weathermen all said rain, so we cancelled the work part. But since I'd already bought all the enchilada supplies, we had everyone come for dinner anyway.
MM and I had a blast with his parents all afternoon. He and Dad were the prep cooks, chopping, dicing, peeling, grating. Quite an operation! Mom was sous chef, which involved a lot of stirring. And I got to be the Iron Chef, er, head chef, since I was teaching her how to make my enchiladas. I had a great time stomping around and berating everyone while they cowered in terror.
Or, we all just laughed and talked and worked together to build 27 enchiladas and a Big Salad. And MM did all the dishes. Several times. Bless him.
We finished just in time for the gang to arrive at 6pm. We had another evening of stuffing our faces, talking, and laughing. (No jigs this time, although MM did demonstrate his technique.)
The 'rents headed home around 9:30 or so, and the rest of us drank port, ate chocolate, and played Uno til Midnight or so.
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This month, in addition to these events, we had two gatherings for MM's birthday, and hosted my nephew twice, all with fun food and good people, and late nights and lots of talking...
I'm an introvert, and people wear me out. After people interaction, I need time to recover. Quiet. Books. Journal. Blog. Naps. Long, slow period films, or documentaries about the migration of birds. Lots of time staring at grass. Candles. Soft jazz music. I need time to synthesize and process all the stimulus I've absorbed. All the thoughts and emotions that whoosh and swirl must be untangled, sorted, examined, and put away somewhere in my soul. A good party can take a couple of days out of me.
But, oh, how happy it makes me to see my house full of people connecting and getting nurtured in some way. Bodies, minds, hearts, spirits all finding a place to rest or learn or create or heal. I love to look over the room to see people throw their heads back in a hearty guffaw, cheer a victory, applaud a performance, wipe away tears, raise a toast, dance, play games, solve puzzles and read books to little kids, and gather in corners for quiet conversation. (One couple even got busted making out in our kitchen. Heh heh. Love it!)
Whether it's the rip-roarin', jig-dancin', uno-playin', makin'-out-in-the-kitchen kind or the quiet, stare out the window, snuggly-on-the-couch-with-MM kind - LIFE happens in this house. And it is good.