Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I think I’m back.

People who have known me for a long time associate me with cooking.  With a passion.  I used to love throwing big dinner parties, often with a theme, and always choosing recipes I had never made before because for me, that was living on the edge.  I also liked inviting combinations of people that you wouldn’t normally see together.  It always made for lively evenings full of provocative conversation and occasionally unlikely friendships would be forged.

Since Duncan passed away though, my druthers for hosting anything involving this type of effort waned dramatically.  I think part of it was, I didn’t have the energy for it and part of it was, while I used to enjoy spending a whole day by myself getting ready for these soirées, I was avoiding spending long periods of time on my own, where the lingering sadness of his departure would take centre stage in my mind, and I didn’t want to invite that into my day.

In the past three years, I have happily been involved in others’ get-togethers and I would don my apron and cook to my heart’s content in their company and in their kitchens.  In a way, I had gone back to putting training wheels on my bike, and up until now was reluctant to take them off.

Something happened this Thanksgiving.  All of a sudden my old penchant for going all out came back.  I was offered my friend’s beach house (with a full kitchen and a beautiful dining room overlooking the ocean), and I went to work.  I had my son Sean and his partner, her sister and partner, a surprise guest that my son brought (turned out to be my nephew freshly landed from Toronto), three of my single girlfriends, and two “orphan” guys who I knew would appreciate a home-cooked meal.  I had a great time puttering at the stove, creating the ambience, wrapping little surprise gifts for everyone, and at complete peace with being alone, doing what I love to do.  With Duncan at my side, buoying me in spirit, I was in heaven.  With Sean sitting with me at dinner, being his usual funny and charismatic self, I was a pretty happy Mom and friend.

I have a great life.  I am so thankful.

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