Tea, a drink with jam and bread

One of the things I realized during my birthday reflections was that I’d like to get better at keeping in touch with family and friends. I missed having a group of close friends who were friends with each other and the lively interactions and in-jokes that result. I periodically keep in touch with my friends in the Philippines and I have a small group of friends in Toronto who regularly come to my get-togethers, but I wondered if I hadn’t paid as much attention to this aspect of my life because I had focused on building my relationship with W- (status: awesome!).

Based on last week’s Skype party and this week’s tea party, I’m lucky to have such fantastic friends. I hardly spend time with people one-on-one, but I felt right at home with everyone. Maybe it’s because these friendships aren’t based on shared activities, but on the fact that I like who these people are. Even these brief glimpses into their lives give me warm and fuzzy feelings. Get-togethers become a way for me to get to know them better and to introduce them to other people I also like–which result in interesting conversations I get to eavesdrop on, yay!

The chest freezer we bought last Friday turned out to be incredibly useful. I rolled and cut a large batch of biscuits the night before the party and a batch of scones the morning of the party, and I put them on cookie sheets to individually freeze. Once they froze, I transferred them to bags and put the bags in the chest freezer. During the party, keeping the table stocked with baked awesomes was just a matter of taking out the right number of frozen items, putting them on the tray, and baking them at 450’F for around 12 minutes. Win!

The first hour or two was pretty busy because I wanted to make sure everyone had mugs, some kind of drink, some kind of snack, and so on, and because people brought interesting new teas I and breads I just had to share. =) Once we’d gotten lots of baked goods and teapots on the table, things settled down, and I wandered in and out of great conversations while topping up the snacks and drinks. Great stuff! Now I’m tempted to save up for and find one of those multi-tier trays so that I can make the most of our table space… <laugh>

I set seats around the kitchen table for early-comers. People pushed the chairs in and stood around when we reached about 12 people in the room, occasionally pulling out chairs if they wanted to sit. Some people also sat on the deck to enjoy the garden view and a bit of quiet. If I set some more mugs and snacks out there, we could expand the party more easily. I’m looking forward to figuring out how to make these get-togethers even better without making them overwhelming. There are so many other groups of people I’d like to bring together. =)

What I liked the most: how people connected and helped each other out. I love that! Love love love love. If I can bake and cook and host and do all of that more often so that my friends from different circles can come together and connect the dots more often, I’m all for it. I love how people are ready to talk about what they’re interested in, what they’re working on, what they need help with, how they can help other people… I love having get-togethers where people just skip past the small talk and get to what they really want to talk about. =D

Thanks to everyone who made it, and thanks also to everyone else who made last year fantastic! Let’s find out what adventures this year will bring. =)

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