Sunday, October 09, 2005

Old friends, seen too seldom

Went out to a potluck dinner with old friends last night, which as usual was a pleasant event. The food was good. Opinions were expressed--especially by the only man in the room actually older than I, and who thus wore the honorary mantle of geezer--and disagreed with, but not in a way that interfered with anyone's digestion. People, as always, appeared noticeably older than I remembered them, just as I do in their eyes, no doubt. The occasion was the 54th birthday of the host.

Most of the people last night were part of what Kay and I called the "potluck group," whose membership stayed reasonably constant for a couple of decades. Kay loved social events of any kind, especially at our house, so we often hosted the potluck group while she was alive. For about 20 years.

Since Kay died, partly through Eve's insistence, we continued to occasionally have potluck dinners at our house, though that felt (and still feels) weird, because somebody important is missing. But such potlucks were a feature of Eve's growing up, so when we have them here it has seemed to give her a sense of continuity. And though it reminds me of Kay's absence, I enjoy it myself. Odd, that you can enjoy something that reminds you of loss. Maybe that's just me.

I should mention that the children of the potluck group, the older ones anyway, were Eve's childhood friends. So when we have dinners at our house Eve has made sure to insist that they come, along with young people in her own current circle of friends.

Her efforts to enlarge this tradition to include her college friends has been challenging--some of them were not too clear on the concept of "bring prepared food to share with others." Eve patiently tried to educate them on this, with some success. At the last couple of events at our house, they seemed to be catching on, including the "help clean up afterwards" part if they stayed late. I suspect they think the whole idea is kind of quaint and rural--but they certainly seemed to enjoy the food, and the party. Some of the dishes they brought were tasty, actually, although possibly purchased at a deli rather than cooked in their student apartments.

Unfortunately, Eve missed the one last night because she was away on a caving trip--but she has been wanting to have one here at home soon, and so I will, hopefully, be seeing many of the same group again soon--soon enough that they may not appear noticeably older.

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