Lately, I've been astounded at the number of visitors we've had in and out of our home lately! I love it really- which is funny, because I'm not a social person. I avoid large groups when at all possible, but I'm delighted to spend time with small groups of close friends and family.
Two Saturdays ago we had a long-lost friend of mine from high school and his girlfriend over for dinner and games. We made it a team effort to make gnocchi, and after dinner taught them to play one of our favorite games, Ticket To Ride. We got to catch up some, since we'd only seen each other once in the last 6 or 7 years. The visit was good, and I hope we get to hang out with them more in the future!
A week ago Sunday was Father's Day. I've already spoken of the excitement from that event.
Last Tuesday, my sister was preparing to go to Europe for almost the rest of the summer. We wanted to hang out once before she left, and she wanted me to help her make a snack for the (long) trip. I made dinner for everyone, then Caroline & I made granola bars for her trip. They didn't harden before she left, so I cut them and delivered the bars the next day. She brought raisins & dried cranberries to include in the bars, along with sunflower seeds, pecans, and rice cereal. The honey held everything together, and the resulting snack was filling & delicious. I hope she's enjoying them on her trip!
Wednesday, as I said, I saw my family and handed off the bunch of granola bars, then Thursday we had a friend over for dinner, very much on a whim. Two friends I had from high school are now married & living in our apartment complex, and we hang out periodically. The husband called us after we were off work Thursday asking if we'd invite his wife over for dinner, because he was working that night and knew she didn't like being alone in the evenings. I thought it was a very sweet request, so I gave her a call up, and made spaghetti sauce from scratch and served it over ravioli. It was a nice visit, and I actually appreciated the spur-of-the-moment-ness of it. I delighted that friends feel comfortable just calling up and showing up. (But I've already spoken of Hospitality)
And here comes the exciting part. Ashley & Paul drove up from Georgia for a wedding on the south side of Indy, and stayed with us all the way up in Carmel all weekend! I had lunch with the couple Friday, and the night owls stayed out later than we did Friday night, so we didn't see them (and this was a surprise to us- we were up till 1am!) We got to have breakfast with them Saturday and Sunday, and stayed up into the wee hours talking Saturday night. I was so glad to see my friends, play games and talk of light things and deep things and life in general. Another fun surprise- Saturday evening, David and Ann stopped by and played games with us as well! They were continuing their journey to Upland, so they didn't stay too long, but it has been a longtime since we last saw them, so it was great to have them over.
Ashley & Paul left Sunday morning, and we got to have lunch with Josh's family at a restaurant in Carmel Sunday afternoon. It was an anniversary/birthday/Father's Day celebration (yes, we had cards and gifts to give out for all the occasions!) I hadn't seen Josh's family in too long- I missed them- and it was delightful to talk, catch up, and spend time with nephews. Fun story: I was talking to my 6-year-old nephew, and he announced he was in love with me, and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I, of course, was taken aback, gave him a kiss on the cheek back, and told him that Josh was in love with me too, so he'll have to talk to him about it. Of course, what did he do! He walked over to where Josh & my brother-in-law were sitting, and reported his love! They laughed. All in all, a great time. I still miss my Lebanon family- I need to get out there and see them soon.
Last night, I had another pleasant surprise! Josh was heading back from Lebanon, and I got a phone call from Matt saying he was in town and wondered if he could stop by. Of course! We sat and talked and caught up, and I managed to have a batch of cookies mixed, baked and out of the oven by the time Matt & Josh got there. Again, I liked the spontaneity that comes with having a (hopefully) welcoming home.
In the near future, no plans for more guests. Hopefully, my grandparents, who are visiting from Georgia, will come over at least one evening. We're going to be guests Saturday at a coworker's Fourth of July get-together, and Sunday we'll be fixing a big chicken dish for Sunday Suppers. We'll get to see even more friends when we go camping in a couple weeks- can't wait!
Did I mention I'm not social? Because I'm not. But I am excited to offer hospitality, and visit with people in small groups. Wouldn't trade that for the world.