For our twenty-fifth anniversary, we just went out to dinner with our kids, so for our thirtieth, my husband wanted to do “something special.” So our solution was a new ring for me, and a party.
We bought the ring, a large hunk of labradorite, on our trip to Newfoundland. I had been on the hunt for something I loved that also fit. My engagement present had been pearl earrings, and not a ring. My original wedding ring had been channel cut amethysts, which I loved, but cracked repeatedly, fortunately unlike the marriage it symbolized. The coral inlaid ring I had been wearing was now too big so I had been wearing it on my middle finger, as you can see from my slight tan-line in the photo above.
My new ring is a change from multiple stones, and it feels emblematic of us coming together as one in this marriage. The eskimos say of Labradorite that it is the northern lights come down and captured on earth. The teal of the sky just before dusk is a favorite color of James’, and a rock from a wild, remote place is just right for me. Plus, other than being affordable, it is indestructible (crucial for my hands that are into all sorts of things), and sleekly modern. I love it.
And our party! We filled our little house to the brim last night with a small fraction of the local people we love. We couldn’t invite everyone from any venue of our lives, but it was fun to have people from many different aspects mingle together. We invited 60 and 42 came out in the rain (thankfully not snow), walking some distance for we have no parking nearby, bringing potluck food, with a willingness to cram into our sweet, cozy home, full to the gills as it is with both art and books.
Yes, you don’t have to look far to realize we desperately need a paint job, and yes, we really didn’t have room for all these people here, but we did it anyway, even though it wasn’t perfect. I think maybe these days people don’t have parties so much because they think everything has to be just so. It was a bit exciting to have this party without micromanaging in any way what the food would be. We did not organize what people would bring. We held the whole thing very lightly, and God coordinated the fare beautifully.
Everything was delicious, and we had fun. I enjoyed introducing and mixing people. James and Laura made and served homemade eggnog. We made name tags saying how each one knew us–church, bookclub(s), word weavers, knitting, homeschooling, family, clergy association, etc– and that seemed to work well as icebreakers. Many fresh connections between people were made, and I’m so glad about that. Community building is essential, and is a value James and I share. I got pictures of some of the action below.
I also missed getting any photos of James and me, or my mother’s punchbowl full of James’ mother’s eggnog , or of any of the dessert, or of our bedroom drowning in forty coats. There were people there that did not get photographed, and people who wanted to be there but were unable to for one reason or another. Many are your fellow blog readers, some even since the very first post of this daily blog over eleven years ago. Some people that were invited we never heard from; will they open our invite later, thinking it was another Christmas card, realizing only too late that they missed it?
Thank you everybody for coming, for bringing food, for your love, and participation in our lives. You all enrich us. Thank you to those local folks who weren’t invited for understanding that we totally wanted you here too, but simply had not enough room. Thank you to my sister in North Carolina, who sent us anniversary flowers we used as a center piece! A special thank you to your fellow blog reader Loree (a caterer from book group) who loaned us her glass plates, cups, real silverware, and white cloth napkins, so we could be more eco friendly than buying paper and plastic. To quote her, “You have amazing friends.” I totally agree. This is best type of collection, in my humble opinion. We are so very grateful for every one of them, and for all of you out there remotely!
We feel duly celebrated, and as an extra bonus, our house is already dusted and ready for the New Year!