Dust is banished. China and crystal gleam, waiting to be used. The fridge is bursting. An air of expectancy fills the house as all that's left is to wait.
How do you feel before a party? Up until Wednesday, two days before the party, my mind whirled, my hand wrote lists, and I woke up at night thinking of something I didn't want to forget (even if it was on the list).
By Wednesday I realized that everything that needed to be done, had been done, and the rest didn't matter. Last night I did a final dusting and vacuuming. We're ready. I like this stage of hosting big get-togethers.
I was thinking that this time is a parallel, on a much smaller and insignificant scale, to Advent. We prepare, we count the days, we anticipate, and finally, we just wait until our guests come through the door. Joy fills our being as we welcome each one. Advent, of course, celebrates the coming of just one, so eagerly longed for that the party is held again and again each year.
This morning I set out the dishes: a station for cold drinks, another for hot, the dining room table for the savouries, and the dry sink for the sweets. Hopefully this will keep people moving. Those little pink post-it notes on the platters? They are to remind me what's going on each one. I sorted that all out earlier this week.
In the darkness between 8 and 8:30, the mantel lights glow and the fire throws cheerful warmth. Cushions are plumped and all is ready.
Do I feel like going to teach classes today? Nope. I cope by compartmentalizing - once I'm out the door my mind focuses on school and home thoughts are left behind.
Just one more thing - this sweetheart is 7 years old today! Happy Birthday, darling girl. Where did the years go?