Easy Gathering of Friends

Discussion in 'Magical Parties' started by SparkleNana, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    There is a new(isn) organization of "seniors" at my church. After a recent meeting on "Friendship"…. the group decided to have a casual party…. with people contributing refreshments. The party will be at my house…. tomorrow…. from 4:00 to 6:00.

    At the recent monthly meeting…. the group decided to follow the pattern of my neighborhoods' "Wine Nights". Following this pattern: every guest brings either (1) a plate of finger food, or (a chilled bottle of wine. Each guest brings their own wine glass (and the hostess provides extras for those who forget). The idea is for the hostess to have "no clean up duties"…. after the party has ended.

    It will be interesting to see…. how this "party model" works… for an entirely different kind of group.

    It is a rainy day, here, today. THAT should help me to concentrate on "preparing the house" for tomorrow's party.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  2. luludou

    luludou Well-Known Member

    SN, you have such a wonderful neighborhood! I like the idea of everyone bringing a plate of something to eat. Here wine is much more expensive than in the US, so most people bring their own drinks.

    I know it will be a success!
  3. tanya

    tanya Well-Known Member

    In Sydney, it is pretty common to bring both a plate of food- usually a share plate of snacks, cheeses, home made dip or similar OR a dessert and then to bring drinks as well.

    That party sounds like fun!
  4. DahliaDoll

    DahliaDoll Well-Known Member

    Just lurking and couldn't resist a comment ... I don't usually mind the "clean up duties" when a party is over. Just getting a few things into the dishwasher. It's the "clean up duties" before the party that wear me out sometimes. When everyone leaves and I do a little clean up, it's delightful, 'cause the house is clean and neat.

    Have a wonderful gathering!
  5. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    You are so right, DaliaDoll! The "Before party clean-up"… is the worst! Afterwards… when people have gone home… the clean house is heavenly! In fact…. I read that you should entertain at least once a month… and you will have a clean house!!!!!!!

    BIG DEVELOPMENt: the party is still on, exactly as planned. However…. I just got an email from someone that I don"'t know. (I've only gone to two meetings of this senior group). Anyway… the email thanked me for the lovely idea of the party. She said she would be back in town today, but probably couldn't come… because she was "just leaving NYC… where her oldest child, had recently died"!!!!!!

    How tragic! I immediately wrote an email back… offering to help: run errands, make calls, bring food, whatever. But…. what to do? Do I "notify people"? Does she want people to be notified? I mean… the party is open to all members of this group (40 people or more)… AND any friends they want to bring. Nobody has to RSVP. There was no request to RSVP. She did not need to send th email… so I guess that she does want people to know. Feeling very unsure about how to proceed.

    So… I called a lovely woman, in the group, who is younger than me but has been in the church longer than me. She suggested that I notify ONE of the ministers… (my favorite minister, too). By the way…. at first, the woman that I called said that she did not know the woman whose child had just died. After a while… she said that she did think she had put "a face with the name".

    Well, we agreed that this event would certainly make tomorrow's gathering "more meaningful". This party is an outgrowth of this affinity-group's most recent meetings…. "On Friendship". And you certainly need friends when you are going through such terrible grief!!!!
  6. DahliaDoll

    DahliaDoll Well-Known Member

    That definitely is tragic news. I would assume that since she told you, basically a stranger, what had happened, that she wouldn't mind your sharing it with others. If someone knows her well, it would be nice if some dinner could be delivered to her home today or this evening. The pastor should be able to counsel you.
  7. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    That was good advice, DaliaDoll! Thank you! Well… I DID leave a message, right away…. on the nice minister's phone. He just called me back to thank me for the message and to say that "Yes, we are aware of the tragic death". It is ALWAYS good to deliver dinners! In fact…. I am thinking of getting a lovely card… and having it here at our party, tomorrow, for people to sign… with messages of their own. I think that we can pack up a lovely collection of food… from tomorrow's many refreshments…. and deliver it to her home tomorrow evening. hopefully… we will talk about "support networks" that are already in place… and any that we want to create… as part of our new "aging group".

    As far as "Party Prep"… NOTHING is getting done here. The power went out… right after I posted… when a big storm blew through. No internet… no lights. So… dh went to the gym…. and I packed up some books and went to a nearby coffee shop. Dh picked me up when he was finished at the gym. No housework… no party prep. (The house is already in pretty good shape and I will just lock the door on the one room that looks bad!)

    I have bought some food supplies. I'll buy wine tonight. I have fresh flowers. Of course… there ARE Halloween decorations outside. I'll work hard tomorrow… with a deadline!

    Tonight is one of the Wednesday evenings in October… and at 7:00, on these evenings, the church holds various classes. I have been going to the one on "Ministering To The Aging". This class has not been good. All five of us in the class… are pretty old. We have seen family and friends…. through the "Aging Process". We are all well along in the aging process -- ourselves!!! But the very old minister, leading this class, spends the entire class time…. reading long notes that she wrote many years ago…. for YOUNG people…. who knew.nothing about aging. Things like…. "Imagine if YOU were old and couldn't get around very well". Well.. we ARE old! And we have helped lots and lots of old people… who an't get around very well! (I am ranting!!!!)

    I wasn't going to go to class tonight. Now I think that I will go…. and try to get the class leader… to put aside her (useless) notes… and let us talk about "Death and Families".. and how we "minister" to people who are dealing with death. (Their own, approaching, death. And the death of people they love). I would like to know how clergy work with hospice programs. I've got lots of questions and I bet the whole class does. This teacher has not taken questions - in the past.

    So far… I have NOT talked about how to get ready for tomorrow"s "Casual Gathering Of Friends". Instead… I have talked about "Real Life".
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  8. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    Good Morning! So far….. things look better…. today!

    I did go to last night's class on "Ministering To The Aging". It began with 10 minutes of stories (from the teacher)… on her life, growing up. Then an opening prayer. Then… I spoke up… to share the story about yesterday's email…. and how, as a new member of the "aging group"… I was unsure how to proceed. This class WAS different from the preceding classes…. This time…. the teacher encouraged discussion and questions!!! So…. it was helpful for me!!! I felt that the class interacted… as real human beings… instead of sitting as quiet listeners.

    The teacher also shared, with the class….. that she is 86 years old! That made me feel "more protective" towards her. And I felt "better"…. about the class. So…. onwards with Party Day!!! (A separate post about that).
  9. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    It is 2:00. Party is from 4:00 to 6:00 today. Sigh. MY STRING OF BAD LUCK IS CONTINUING….

    I HAD CLASS THIS MORNING. (CONSTITUTIONAL LAW). Dh dropped me off at class… and he said that he would be back in an hour. I would leave class at the break…. to go home to get ready for the party. Forty-five minutes later…. I was still standing in the parking lot. Dh had forgotten to pick me up at the break. SIGH.

    Dh took me home….. and then left to pick up a grandson…. to take him to the eye doctor. Dh will eat dinner out and go to the bookstore…. leaving the party to the "aging group".

    On the way home, we stopped by the store to buy four bottles of wine. (They are chilling now). I had planned to fill mini croissants with chicken salad. (Cooked the chicken yesterday). No time to make the chicken salad. So… I will just fill the croissants with butter and heat in the oven, until slightly crisp. I have a package of tiny "****tail toasts" and cans of pate. I will spread the toasts, with pate…. and that's it.

    I have "spruced up the living room, family room, bathrooms…. and master bedroom…. for the coats. Now I'm off to the kitchen. Thank Goodness that I KNOW…. that this kind of party….. WORKS! So…. let's see how it goes….. with a group of people that I hardly know.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2014
  10. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    ! And, although those

    OK…. Here is the result: THE PARTY WAS TERRIFIC!!!!!!

    About twenty people came. There were about 8 bottles of wine, total…. so it was good that I bought four bottles. Eight was enough!

    There was A LOT of food! Most people brought food. And it was GOOD food! EVERYONE was REALLY in the mood for a party! People came in and started drinking and eating and TALKING…. and didn't stop! They were REALLY in the mood for a party…. with friends! It was COMFORTABLE to be in a home environment.

    NOBODY was "critical" or "cold"… or acted like they were "inspecting the house"!!! So… I was able to relax… and enjoy the party!

    Everybody thought that "this model for a party"… worked REALLY well! So… that was good!!! I am VERY HAPPY! I am glad that I "hosted" this party. I had fun!!!

    I'll clean up tomorrow!
  11. luludou

    luludou Well-Known Member

    Glad you had a good party SN. How did your dh like it?
  12. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    Oh yes, luludou…. it is "the eternal question"… in my life: How did dh like the party?

    Well…. dh DID…. totally avoid the party tonight!!!!!

    Dh took dgs13 to his doctor appointment. Then…. dh went out to dinner and did some errands. Dh came home around 7:00…. and discovered that the party was still going on…. even though the party hours were 4:00 to 6:00". Dh was not happy that guests were still there. Dh went into his study and checked his email. Then, dh went into our bedroom…. to watch the evening news!

    After the last guest left… I went into the bedroom and told dh that… "the coast is clear".

    Dh asked, plaintively… "Couldn't these people go somewhere else to have their parties?"

    I assured dh that there would be lots of parties that will NOT be held at our house. That made dh feel better!

    As you know, I am an extreme extrovert… and would like to go to three parties a day…. every day! Dh is an introvert. Over the 53 years of our marriage… we have worked out "accommodations" to our different styles! When you have an "accommodation"…. well…. things are not done EXACTLY the way that you would prefer. HOWEVER…. the ways things are done…. is…. OK.

    And… the party was GREAT! That makes me happy. And…. dh did not have to have ANYTHING to do with the party! That makes him happy. And so it goes!!!!!

    Talk to you tomorrow!
  13. missjane

    missjane Well-Known Member

    SN, I'm glad to read that your party was successful. It's good to have a healthy network of friends around you. Rest tonight and let things sit until tomorrow when you are recharged!
  14. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    Easy Gathering of Friends Part 2:

    Tomorrow evening March 11th - is the SECOND "easy gathering of friends" at my house. (5:00 to 7:00). Everyone is bringing either a bottle of wine or a plate of finger food (no desserts). I expect about the same number (around 20) -- although not exactly the same people. All from the "senior aging group" at church.

    Today -- I just did regular, routine household stuff. Laundry, picking up, cooking, dishes, (and some decluttering), errands, phone calls, etc etc. etc. Nothing special -- yet -- for the party tomorrow. It has been less than a week since the "cleaning team" was here and the house is in good shape.

    The flower arrangements (from Saturday's brunch) still look good. I already have a couple of bottles of white wine… and some tall bottles of sparkling water -- to add to the serving table. I may make some "tea sandwiches" tomorrow. It depends on how busy the day gets.

    I'll write again, tomorrow.
  15. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    Good Morning: it is 8:30am on the day of "Round 2: Easy Gathering of Friends".

    ONE concern -- is the weather. In winter weather -- people arrive with boots, coats, scarves, gloves and (sometimes) umbrellas. I have emptied out most of the (small) front coat closet. IF it is soggy outside -- I will add a folding chair (to sit on to remove boots)… and lots of newspaper for the boots to sit on. Right now -- it IS raining and very soggy from melting snow.

    Today will be "spiffing up" the house. I have already put out tall bottles of sparkling water and two bottles of white wine. I will add a big bottle of orange juice -- just before the 5:00 start time. The wine glasses are already waiting on the buffet.

    I will move the dining room table -- as close to the buffets as possible. I will add a white tablecloth, containers of plastic forks, serving utensils, piles of napkins and paper plates.

    I want it to be as easy as possible -- for people to get inside -- get rid of their coats, boots, etc. -- and put their "contribution to the gathering" on a serving table. And -- start to enjoy themselves!

    I WOULD like to get name tags. Lots of us are having trouble "putting names and faces together".

    I am still "mystified" as to how ONLY TWO PEOPLE -- can create so much laundry, so many dishes, and so much clutter!!!!! (And HOW LONG it takes -- when only one of those people -- does any work - dealing with all that stuff"!)

    Remember -- there is that old saying "IF you want to have a clean house --- have a party at least once a month". And THIS is the easiest - and the least expensive - way that I have found -- to have a party!!!!!

    I'll post more later.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  16. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    Round 2: 10:45am The dishwasher is going. (I need to be careful - about when I run it - because ds and ddil need hot water for their showers. I try to run it when they are at work -- and they are!)

    This morning -- dh and I got a disturbing phone call -- concerning some of his relatives who live in the midwest. There is NO guarantee -- that "Real Life" -- will stay away -- while you are having a party at your house. So -- we are both pretty upset. AND -- THAT is part of Real Life!

    I'm going to clean out the refrigerator and make more ice. Continue setting up the table. Arrange the extra chairs in the family room. (Some of the chairs are "garden chairs". So what? At our ages -- if a party lasts for two hours -- we have got to be "sitting" at some point! (If not for the whole time!)
  17. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    Round 2: 2:00p.m. OK -- things are pretty well "set up" food the 5:00 to 7:00 party. Chairs are set up, tables are set. The kitchen is NOT pristine -- and haven't - yet - done a "once over" on the two bathrooms.

    Dh is home from class. (I skipped my class - to get the house ready for tonight.) Dh is pretty melancholy -- about the "extended family news" from this morning. I have - pretty well "buried it" - in busy-work for tonight. Now -- I'm off to get "name tags" and "whatever - for tonight.
  18. Sugarplum

    Sugarplum Well-Known Member

    SN-Just wanted to say I love your detailed posts and updates! Very inspiring.

    And yes, how DO only 2 people make such a mess, lol!
  19. SparkleNana

    SparkleNana New Member

    Thank you, Sugarplum! OK -- it is 4:30 -- and I HAD TIME FOR A SHOWER! As you know -- when we have people over -- the time gets away from us and…. no shower. Sob!

    I am relaxed about this party. AND -- dh has agreed to stay -- for a few minutes -- and meet people. Good enough for me!

    Talk to you later!
  20. luludou

    luludou Well-Known Member

    Have fun! and let us know how it went

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