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Despite A Few Annoying Characteristics People Are Pretty Wonderful, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:18am

It’s been a week full of friends. The blogosphere veritably blossomed, in-world. I met Chronica Domus, Tish Jett, and Kim of Northern California Style for the first time. I spent a day with Susan from Une Femme. And then I made a December date to meet Adrienne of The Rich Life on a Budget.

Here on the blog, Chronica brought a crew of new commenters, who know so much about antiques I’m clapping my hands in excitement.

Never mind me. The women who came to Tish’s book signing, for the most part, came with friends. Women who parented together, women who worked together. Powerful. Creative. Warm. They touched each other on the elbows as they navigated a store full of glittered snowmen and white china.

I hope all of you, as we head into the season of Images Of Gatherings Of Happy Well-Lit People, have circles and fires at which to gather. I’ll try to keep things inclusive and attentive around here. I know that a column of comments isn’t anything like a group of loved ones in your house, but, if you find yourself in moment of loneliness, let’s say I’ve painted my blog front door as I did in-world, and I’m ready. Feel free to wax and wane.

Tonight my family, those who live in Northern California, are coming for dinner. We’re having a couple of whole grilled fish, the Korean short ribs recipe I worked out (yes, I’ll post it before the year is over), stir-fried greens, short-grained rice, salad, and a Kentucky Butter Cake which I made yesterday so as to have time to clean up all the flour that exploded from the mixing bowl.

I am not a good baker.

Maybe I’ll grab a minute to call my best friend in New Jersey. One Thanksgiving when I was recently divorced, and on my own, she had me over for dinner. Lots of memories fade these days, not that. Colored crystals on the candlesticks. I had no responsibilities, no tasks, it was almost as though I was not there. Except I was.

The question is always how to engage, how to fit in, how to find ease in company. One of the things I have learned as I age is that few people feel comfortable in groups. Not that I wish pain on anyone, but it’s helpful to know you’re not the only one worried about doing it right. I find the most “right” is when I disappear into the event and the people around me. Become transparent, if you will, Transparent and content.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, in company, if you like, or happy solitude.

46 Responses

  1. I grab a minute to say hello and to wish you very, very nice evening and to praise your post!. I rush (it’s almost 7 pm here),to have a dinner at my friends home. There are few people who are like my adopted family. If the dinner failed,I’ll think about your Korean short ribs!
    I’m so happy to found a couple of you in virtual word (and to get a recipe) as well!
    I may drop tomorow,too, with my friends baking story
    Have a beautiful weekend

  2. I’m very impressed that you made something named Kentucky Butter Cake. Just the name alone sounds special. Looking forward to your recipe. Have a wonderful evening with the family!

  3. Today’s words were perfect for my emotional tenor lately, and I thank you for them. Sometimes I feel discouraged if I am not among the Happy Well-Lit People, yet somehow I also feel unable to change the situation – either I am not among people at all, or I am but don’t feel as though I were. In the latter situations, I’ll remember your recommendation of transparency

    1. @marsha calhoun, You are welcome. We all have those times, and unfortunately the worse we feel sometimes the less able we are to do those simple things we know would help us. I hope you have some very well-lit evenings, in good company, this winter.

  4. Dinner with family and home made food…one of life’s little luxuries.
    I’d love the recipes for the ribs and the cake…I am a messy and “so so” baker myself.
    Crowded events can be a challenge if you go alone…I would have loved to join you and we could have stood side by side, perhaps we’d get caught up in the excitement and forget ourselves for a time being.
    I just published a post based on a conversation that I overheard yesterday.

    1. @Bungalow Hostess, I’ve posted the cake link up above, and I’ll do the ribs before the end of the year, I promise.It would have been so much fun to have you there, I think you would have loved the shop and the event.

  5. My husband was all stressed because I had an out of town coworker over for dinner on Tuesday and then we had friends, who had flown into town on their way north of here, to dinner on Wednesday. Our living room is full of papers and files that he has had to bring back from his mom and dad’s (he is settling their estate) and the house, although clean, is a bit disordered. It has been a really bad year at our house.

    Primo was stressed because everything was not perfect for our guests.

    I said that we do not have the kind of friends who are going to care that there are two unpacked suitcases and five stacks of papers and boxes in the living room.

    “Our friends love us, not our house,” I said.

    And both evenings were indeed lovely. The co-worker was happy to have a home-cooked meal and to be around cats. (Hers was killed by a coyote last month. :( ) The other friends were just happy to get to see us.

    It doesn’t hurt to make good food, but in the end, all that really matters is that you are with people who love you.

  6. Ease in company – what a lovely description of a state that I have always found hard to achieve. I like your idea of striving for transparency and I will try to remember it these holidays. Long time reader, first time commenter. I enjoy your writing very much and thank you for your wisdom, your humour and your kindness.

    1. @Maria, Nice to meet you. And you are by no means alone. The good thing about being transparent is it frees you up to really notice the people around you. xox.

  7. Your menu sounds delicious, and how wonderful to cook for your family. I’m in a very cocooning period, and am enjoying my time alone without putting out too much energy for a crowd. Transparent and invisible right now.

    1. @TB, You are welcome. It’s my pleasure, and thank you for the kind words. I’ll try to keep it well lit, and warm.

  8. What I lovely day you must have had, in such good company, and all that largesse spread (at least partly) at your feet.

    Meeting new friends is a wonderful boon, and I’ve been especially fortunate to find the online company of CD for the past good while. I enjoy her writing, her photos, and her general outlook on life and folks and stuff.

    I find myself easy in the company I keep most, and happy to mingle and meet, as well, though our entertaining has been quite limited for this past year, due to a kitchen renovation with all the expected clutter and stumble.

    I’m delighted to find you and your lovely way with words, and will thank CD heartily for such a ringing introduction.


  9. Sounds wonderful. I had my step-daughter and family (wonderful grandson) over for dinner for the first time in a long, long time. It seems we had gotten in the habit of meeting out somewhere between other obligations, or my going to their house, which is fine, but I had missed the cooking, and the communal time before, during and after the sharing of food. Simply wonderful.

    And your wise words at the end, the penultimate paragraph…. Thank you.

    1. @Mardel, Yes, that’s so true. The time before, during, and after. We had all three last night. I set a fire in the wok, dropping wet peashoots into hot oil. Luckily it was very brief. I realized that no matter how much preparation I do in advance I’m always going to have some panic at the last minute. Time to welcome that as a hallmark of my entertaining.

      I am so glad you had family over.

  10. Dinner sounds wonderful. How nice to have had these meetings. There are so many in the blogging world I wish to meet in person. I think at this point, I could spend two weeks traversing California alone (testing my will and patience in traffic along the way) just meeting the CA-based bloggers I follow.
    I also very much appreciate the sentiment of this post. And will keep this in mind with my own writing. Less like looking in the window and more like sitting around the table.
    And yes, I am proud to win the Penelope Bianchi lamp trophy.

    1. @Stephen Andrew, Come to California! Why we have so many bloggers I simply cannot say, except, perhaps, big state? Per capita what is the concentration? I do not now! And, new to your blog, I find it very warm and cozy.

  11. Nothing to add but thanks. A perspective-shifting post, most helpful, and your readers’ commenters are wonderful in taking your wisdom even further. Marsha’s comment particularly resonates and Stephen’s “less like looking in the window and more like sitting at the table” . . . Happy Sunday!

  12. Though there may have been some furious paddling going on, it appears a week of floating serenely amongst the flock.

    I thank you for the thought that many do not feel comfortable in groups, as I have a tendency to think otherwise, which does nothing at all to help me relax in those situations.

    Not invisible, but transparent and content – I like that very much.

    1. @Cathi, The things that used to worry me, i.e. what to wear and groups, didn’t. On the other hand, the things I used to power through, like dinner parties, required planning and deliberation. On the whole, I prefer this state but it is not without some surrender.

  13. Great time last week and so glad we got to finally meet in person Lisa. You are fun! Hope we will get together again soon. Have a good time with Adrienne. Your dinner party sounds delicious. Nothing is better I think than dinner with friends now. Kim

  14. I get so much inspiration from all you bloggers. I admire the heck out of you. If I weren’t such a chicken I may try it someday.

    How wonderful that you have been able to make a true camaraderie with fellow bloggers. Good on all of you!

    1. That’s really nice of you to say – I promise there’s nothing to be afraid of. You can do it anonymously, take your time, it’s been a great experience for me and others. There are some great folks doing it, camaraderie comes easily:).

  15. You are so elegant in your framing and articulation of your concepts — and the concepts themselves are so touching and illuminating. I love the jewels I always find in your posts.

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