Friday, January 2, 2015

Food, Friends, and Music: Happy New Year

On New Year's Eve we gave our standing party, one of those annual parties that dear friends have every year until the last one has crawled off to the nursing home. I like to cook for people, and so I made my famous chicken and sausage gumbo, which was as always well received. People brought things, too. Mostly sweet things, so that my doctor, who says I'm on the verge of diabetes, would frown if she saw me eating them. I ate them anyway.

Food is a powerful force for bringing people together. I was reflecting on that this morning as I scarfed up another Norwegian cookie, whose buttery goodness reminds me of the many people who have given me delicious cookies over the years, my grandmothers, my grandmother's housekeeper who used to make fat sugar cookies with a dollop of jam in the middle, my old flame who used to bring me chocolate eclairs. So many memories of food. Offer me something sweet and my heart is yours.

As we stuffed our faces the other night the musicians broke out their instruments and began to play Irish music. Bliss! I really am going to have to work out on the concertina so that I can join them next time, or at very least get the harp tuned. You can't make an ugly sound on a celtic harp. My cousin Harry built that harp from a kit. When his fingers got too sore to play it he sold it to me for the price of a sword he wanted, a reproduction of something that had been found in a tomb on the McCloskey's ancestral lands in Ireland. Harry had a very romantic turn of mind. He and his wife lived in a hunting lodge in the White Mountains with a hand-carved sign over the front door that read, "Enter in Peace or Leave in Pieces." You're thinking, a man like that would have guns. He did. He forged them himself in his smithy.

But I digress, although it isn't really a digression on New Year's Eve to be thinking of the beloved and great ones of the past. I was telling you about the party, and how much fun it was, in spite of the fact that it was a much quieter party than in years of yore. The children who once ran around under our feet so entertainingly have become teenagers, some of them quite sullen. Everyone tires early. I call it a standing party, but truth to tell only the party is able to remain standing throughout the evening anymore. The rest of us have to sit. We sat, we ate, we told funny stories, we played music or listened to it. We missed the absent ones. But it was a good party. We're all very fond of each other.

Happy New Year to you. May you have music, good things to eat and loving friends.

© 2015 Kate Gallison

1 comment:

  1. And the same to you, madame administrator, and all your crew on CWC... great music, loyal friends and delicious eats! tjs