Company's coming.

I was talking to my step-sista, Debbie, the other day.  We don't get to talk enough but we pack a wallop when we do.  She is so quick-witted, smart, and calls a spade a spade!  She was saying how she 'did' Easter this year and it was perfect.  People, food, house, the works.  Always nice to hear.

Many of us have become masters at hiding the entertaining zits, blemishes, and pimples, that pop up at the last minute (not on our faces but on the stove, on the table, on the floor, on the food) when we've got folks coming over.  Their expectations aren't excessive.  I just want to exceed them.  If we get some some lively conversation and there is a decent meal.  I'm all good with it. 

I got thinking about a gathering I hosted recently. There were 17 of us.  This particular group has a name.  I call them "My Flyboys."  Suffice it to say, it's mostly guys and we all flew together in a most unique environment and in various circumstances.

Every few months a group of 4-7 of us get together for a low key lunch at an even lower key restaurant.   We do the bigger reunions at my house because it is comfortable, easy, weather tolerant, we aren't on a schedule, and a pesky waitress isn't trying to turn the tables for the next customers.  The first reunion, maybe 9 years ago people came at 11am and left at 11pm.  It was really wonderful!

Knowing that it's mostly men who could care less about the appearance of the house or the backyard patio or the garden, and who will probably eat anything,  I am amazed at what I do to ensure a successful reunion.  And what I do has absolutely nothing to do with the successful outcome of the reunion.  That's dependent on the stuff we/they choose to talk about.

So why do I obsess about the dumbest items?  I feel impelled to dust the tall ceiling light fixtures while dangling from a wobbly ladder.  But at least they get clean.  Somebody might notice the dirt.  How about that layer of dust behind the media system cabinet that cannot be seen by anyone unless he/she is laying prone and sucking the floor into his/her face?  But I've gotta get that dust!  They may see the spa room but they aren't going in it.  But I need to put that cleaner/polisher finish on the cover.  Like they care if it's shiny.

I tell them to bring food but then I go and cook pulled pork and make cole slaw.  While this group as a whole doesn't cook a lot, a few do bring serious and delicious homemade dishes.  Everybody else contributes a good variety of deli-like goodies.   But  I'm cooking because well, you just  never know.

Why do I decide the day before guests show up that's the perfect time to feed the roses?  Like suddenly the flowers will bloom twice the size they should the next day?   Why do I have to straighten up the garage?  They're not going to spend time back there. It's nuts! 

For over 20 years we've hosted an annual Neighborhood Watch - National Night Out on our front porch.  People don't go inside the house.  It's on the front porch!  But I'm cleaning inside.  

For five years I've hosted an annual shredding party for my clients, church friends, and neighbors.  I'm out cleaning up the backyard in February and not one person goes out there.  It's the dead of winter!  The commercial truck is in front of the house!  Gosh, you never know when that might change!  Yeah, I do know.  NEVER.

I guess the answers to all the questions are the same.  Because the gathering is a reason to get those pesky items done.  Because each time company comes over it is special.  Because it's a treat to be able to share and know friends are comfortable.

Because it's what Debbie and I do.  And you may too.

Live richly,  marilyn


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