After the Belgian waffle party tonight, once the goodbyes had been said and the lights turned off, I set to work on the personal projects that need to be accomplished. This led to me, in the silence of my living room, remembering something that brought me tremendous joy.
When I was 18 years old, my parents got a plane with me, flew out to the East Coast, and we toured the college that I was going to attend. Though I was already earning money on my own, it would be the first time I was out in the world, not coming back home at night to sleep in the same house with my parents and siblings, not be in a city with extended relatives, and not be able to drive by businesses in town that had our family name on it. Though nowhere near where we are now, the lean years were behind us and things were going well.
Toward the end of the visit, as the inevitable parting of ways approached, we found our way to a little restaurant called the Alchemist & Barrister, and had an afternoon lunch in the outdoor eating area, under a balcony. Our table sat against a little side walk ally way through which pedestrians were passing as they made their way in and out of the shops. It was one of the most peaceful, wonderful, intimate experiences of my life; just being there, in that moment, with my mom and dad. It was calm. The lighting was perfect. There was a slight breeze. I’m not even sure we said much.
As I’m redesigning my home, one of the things I wanted to do was turn the upper balcony, over looking the brook and forest in the back of the property, into an outdoor extended gathering area that could be used for dining, just like the experience I shared with my parents. I’ve been searching for dinnerware that would be used mostly for that area of the house, and those occasions when we are gathered outside together just being. Not doing anything, just being. The psychology of color, scent, and lighting has been playing into how I envision the space. I think I finally found a dinnerware set that fits how that day felt. It’s the Fitz and Floyd Toulouse Green Collection.
These are going to be reserved for the special people in my life; the folks that can come over, unannounced, make a sandwich, and just sit without agenda or motive. These are for the friends-who-are-family who stay as extended house guests for a week. Maybe it’s a Midwestern thing, but these are special. Set aside. Sanctified. They may cost far less than the cut crystal and platinum-edged settings but they are worth far more.