This past weekend we went home for Friends-giving dinner. I knew from the beginning that it was going to be a great little reunion with friends at my best friend's house. I was looking forward to it all week, knowing that it would be the chance to catch up with so many old friends.
On Sunday morning, I went through some of my last old boxes with my mom, taking things that I wanted to keep, and donating the rest of my toys and least favorite books. I walked away with many of my favorite books growing up, including a book of fairy tales with the most magnificent illustrations. There were other favorite books with watercolor paintings for pictures and one about "My Big Brother Mike" which was always so poignant for me because the story was told by a little sibling with glasses being overshadowed by their big brother, Mike, but at the end of the day, the sibling also looked up to their older brother.
Not only did I find old things from my childhood, I also found old notebooks that I would share with friends, passed back and forth between classes, drawing doodles of each other, and complaining about teachers or homework. Each note was pages long, like the fastest snail-mail service for our letters. They are the kind of notebooks that take up space, just like all my old journals, but I'll never have the heart to throw them out.
I set up my mise en place for my grandmother's baked mac and cheese recipe in my mom's kitchen. My mom showed me how certain consistencies were supposed to be, and in the end, said it came out really good this time. For both me and my brother, it's one of our favorite holiday dishes. As I was making it, he watched for a little, knowing what a treat it is.
At my friends house, every one brought a dish, either dinner or dessert, and drinks as well! We set up the entree food on the open kitchen counter, like a double-sided buffet. With my mac and cheese there was a feast of stuffing, ham, roasted vegetables, chicken, four-cheese mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and even turkey. Every side dish was covered, and even every main meat. It was a great holiday with friends. S and I had to drive home to Central Florida that night, so we couldn't stay late. It was so lovely with everyone that I wished we could have stayed longer. I'm already looking forward to next years. At this rate, with how fast October and November have flown by, I bet next year will sneak up on us just as fast.