The potluck this evening was at Quilt Artist’s home, an old house in the city with hardwood floors and deep window sills, a home filled with artwork and quilts, pottery and candles. I didn't cook anything for the potluck because I'd spent the day at the ski slope with With-a-Why, but I knew my friends would forgive me. I brought some beeswax candles made at the monastery and picked up some juice and grapes at the grocery store.
Many of my friends made sure to bring food I can eat: vegan chili, lentil stew, pasta with marinara sauce, bean soup, dairy-free bread. Crockpots filled with stews simmered on the kitchen counters, pots of soups simmered on the stove, and the dining room table was covered with platters of food. We all brought candles to augment Quilt Artist's supply, and little flames burned on every window sill, from every table, from every step on the old wooden staircase. After being cold and wet all day, it felt wonderful to relax in front of the fire on a comfy couch with a plateful of hot food.
We talked about kids and partners, books and politics, career plans and vacation ideas. We talked about the times we've gotten lost, the anxiety dreams we've had, and the things we do to prevent the winter blues. After several hours of conversation, I felt completely relaxed, ready to come home to a down quilt and a warm husband. Time to get a good night's sleep before getting up at 7 am to head to the ski slope again.