In early June this summer we all starting itching for a 'ladies night.' Jules has a 3 week old baby, I was gonna be off Whole30, the weather was turning PERFECT and we just needed some heavy apps and vino.
So we tossed around the idea of 'going out' for a while. Text threads buzzing and email chains formed. "Lets go to dinner!" "Lets go to that new winery!" and finally, after looking at my schedule at realizing I would be designing all day on Thursday and the last thing I ever want after sweating in the studio all day is to be 'out' I texted back, "6:30 at the farm next Tuesday. Wear comfy clothes, bring an app & wine. Be there."
A year ago I would have gone all out for this. Florals, a 'tablescape', plates that matched and fancy napkins, bistro lights and the whole 9 yards. I would have slaved over some App tray and styled everything just right. And then in the course of a year I learned that sometimes good enough is just perfect.
So I plopped a table in the apple orchard, tossed some weird ass IKEA lanterns in the middle with citronella votives, brought out a stack of plastic app plates and the exact number of wine glasses we needed, cut up some bell peppers, opened a thing of guacamole and that was it.
And guess what? It was damn perfect. People make the place, and while this is a pretty dang cute farm to look at while you sip rose, the group made it better. I always think of Dina, my wise sage of wisdom in the form of one liners when she once said "I don't really care what we end up doing all weekend, the 4 of us could sit in a church social hall and have a blast." And its true.
Your life is going to be defined by the people you surround yourself with and making the time to be with them. NOT your tablescape.
The Gather Series and weddings and private events --- all the other 'hosting' we do at the farm is when we pull out all the stops. Those nights are MADE to be that special. But this random Thursday night in June with a newborn and a 3 year old running through a sprinkler and my husband mowing the lawn while we all scream-talk over the mower sound and a bernese mountain dog eating everything that falls off the table and someone showing up late and someone leaving early ---that's what I live for.
Hosting can be scary and overwhelming. Trust me. People seem to think I'm some perfect hostess when really I'm far from it. I just know what our basic needs are as humans; food, drink, shelter. And when the food and drink are there, and you're sheltered by the souls of your besties, it can't be beat.