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  • Writer's pictureLouise Carnachan

Lightening Up!

“What a long, strange trip it’s been.” The Grateful Dead

In the Pacific Northwest, we’re moving toward the glory days when daylight extends well past 9PM. It’s the payoff for the dreary winter we endured (topped off with a devastating ice storm in February). Everyone’s mood improves with the light. Flowers are blooming and people are socializing again; my spirits are buoyed!

I recently hosted my first post-vaccine dinner party. It included one couple—and they’re excellent friends at that. Not exactly a difficult audience. It took me days to plan a menu, shop (because I had to keep going back to the store), clean up cat hair, and execute the meal. In the end, I served nothing more complicated than a spinach salad and pasta dish along with some easy appetizers. And sorbet. I mean, really, this was hardly onerous.

I’d like to blame my rusty hosting skills on the pandemic, but honestly, I’ve been sliding in this direction for a while—and living alone doesn’t help. I have vivid memories of when I could spontaneously put together an edible meal for last minute guests. But I got older and my job became increasingly demanding. I entertained less and less in my Seattle apartment with its postage stamp sized kitchen. In summer, 2018, I moved to Oregon where I didn’t know many folks. I will give myself credit for throwing a few parties, the last one on January 1, 2020. I had high hopes for regaining a guests-over-for-dinner rhythm once I retired.

We’ve all had an unbeckoned hiatus from parties and dinners. After not having people over during the Covid siege, I fear I’ve slipped into a slothfulness that could lead to a logical and dreadful conclusion: issuing invitations to come over for cheese and crackers as long as you don’t mind the cat hair. Mercy.

I remind myself it’s the people that are the most important ingredient for any meal or party. Truly. I hope we won’t take that for granted for a long time. Meanwhile, I’m rebooting my hosting efforts and looking forward to company. I just hope they don’t mind takeout—or cat hair.

What has become more daunting than it used to be before Covid? Please write your comment in the box below.

Sending you less physically distanced encouragement than before and the hope that you’re reuniting with loved ones.

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