"Dinner At Eight," was an old movie from the 1930s. No one up here would begin a dinner party at eight; the guests would be asleep at the table before dessert was served. We tend, for one reason or another, to be early risers. Therefore, Joel and Judy's invitation to their Seder dinner was for six o'clock. A six o'clock starting time presents me with some logistical problems not faced by the others. None of the kids wants to go to bed before sundown, and the only saving grace last evening was that it was raining (thanks for the leftovers, Dolly!). There's no sense getting showered and dressed before going down to the barn; that's tempting fate in the extreme and inviting a slip in the chicken pen or being sideswiped by a soggy sheep. Five o'clock was the earliest I could plan on any cooperation from the two- and four-leggeds. Of course one of the chicks had to make a game of bedtime. Of course Tessie forgot her place in line and had to be caught and tucked in with her stall mate. Of course it took twenty-five minutes to do a job that normally is done in fifteen. That didn't leave me much prep time for going public. Long gone are the days of the relaxing bubble bath, getting the hairdo just right, applying makeup with an artist's hand, trying on three or four outfits. Now it's a case of jumping in and out of the shower before the water has gotten really hot, pulling the hair into a clip so it's not in my eyes, trying not to look quite like a clown with the eye shadow, and hoping that blue shirt goes okay with those bluejeans...waving goodbye to Bessie and the cats and running to the truck. Even though Joel and Judy live "next door," their driveway is a mile or more from mine down on the big road. Then there is the gate that has to be opened and closed to keep deer from getting to their vineyard. I think I was five minutes late, but it wasn't for lack of trying.
I've been a happy guest at this celebratory dinner in the past, but last night Judy and Joel outdid themselves. Everyone commented that the traditional dishes were better this year than ever before, and plates were filled and cleaned. I might mention that those plates are the most beautiful old china, and Judy color coordinates everything so that, even before the first bite, you just know it's going to be good. All at the table participate in the traditional readings, and that brings even old friends closer. This was a particularly convivial group, and there was much laughing all evening. For me, it was more than worth the effort to go public, slap-dash as I am. I had such a good time!