Saturday, January 31, 2015

Solitude and conviviality

The "adult" table at the Star Café tonight. So nice when we can have an adult table and a kids table. All of us together.

Today was almost my idea of a perfect day. By nine o'clock, all my family (except one four-member branch) was in my kitchen, kolaches were being served, and there was a great deal of hilarity and fun with some exchange about what child would eat what. But we sat, we chatted, and we were together. Colin teased me about my use of plastic flatware (I wash it in the dishwasher and recycle it) so he took this picture of me when I showed him a fork I was willing to discard. (Please forgive the first thing in the morning, no-make-up look).
By a little after ten they had all departed from the stock show. I cleaned the kitchen, made a casserole for Sunday breakfast, worked at my computer and generally enjoyed the peace and quiet. It was one of those casseroles where you refrigerate it overnight and then pop it in the oven, and I was pleased to have it done. The missing Frisco group came by around noon just to drop off dogs and head to meet the others at the stock show. I had lunch and a good, long nap, woke up feeling like a new person.
Time to get ready for happy hour--a couple of important friends who had known the children as tykes came by to say hello. Then we were all off to the Star Café, where we had an excellent dinner--I never eat chicken-fried steak but did tonight and it was wonderful. Even Megan who dined healthfully on a tenderloin salad had three or four bites of my chicken-fried and I still brought some home.
Now half of them have gone to Jordan's house, and two families are here--and I'm off in my office writing my blog, eavesdropping on their conversation, and  reflecting on how much I enjoyed all the fun at dinner but also how grateful I was for the peace and quiet during the day. I don't think I could have held up for a full day of fun, as they all did. Though there was a time I enjoyed it as much as anyone.
Last night, all the grandchildren went home with Jordan and Christian, so Colin, Lisa and I were left. After they went to bed, even though it was late, I wrote my blog and read my book and realized again how much those late-night moments of solitude mean to me. I can't just go straight to bed from a room full of people. I need those quiet moments to "collect myself." Maybe it's part of aging, but I value solitude more every day...and yet I wouldn't miss a minute of the phone with my rowdy, noisy family. I don't see any conflict between those two attitudes.

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