Saturday, September 02, 2006

end of summer fling

Tonight's dinner-doings would definitely qualify as a gathering. The guest list includes one family of 9, three visitors from out-of-town, Friend #12 (who lives here), and my family of four. Total: 17 hungry people. After dinner, we will build a bonfire, make s'mores, and generally whoop it up.
The occasion? Friend #37 is coming with his mom and younger brother. Tomorrow, the church officially sends out a team to China for whole year and Friend #37 is on the docket. We are excited for him; a few of us are the teensiest bit jealous.

In 1996, I traveled to Beijing for two weeks to visit my college room-mate (and maid of honor) who was teaching there. We ate authentic cuisine in little storefronts, saw the requisite Forbidden City and Tianamen Square, and ventured into the mountains to climb the Great Wall. Our field trip to the wall was quirkier than most tourist's outings. We ate our picnic lunch in someone's front yard (with permission, of course) and then hiked a twisting goat's path straight up a stony mountain to the base of the wall. Shoulders were offered for support, fingers and toes were wedged into crevices, and backpacks flung over heads before we clambered victoriously into an ancient watchtower. We then walked miles on the crumbly ridge of this famed wall, surrounded by oriental scenery that looked like a silk-screened wall panel: piled mountains, other-worldy clouds, and in the distance, the snake-like wall that cleverly wove over and around it all before slipping away into the horizon.

Friend #37 is a good friend of ours, a heartfelt musician, a brother in the faith, and one heck of a scrabble-player. Let's rejoice with him in his distant adventures and look for great happenings wherever he goes.

post script: Friend #37 insists he was playing "just for fun". (translated: "don't ask who won"....)


Anonymous brietta said...

I daresay many of your dinner-doings are gatherings! And if it wasn't for the brood that tags along with me wherever I go, I would probably have dropped in and made your 18th dinner plate. :)

9:35 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

When does #37 officailly leave town? We would like to give him our regards.

7:21 AM  
Blogger thisrequiresthought said...

alas, #37 has departed already for the hinterlands. Perhaps you could call his cell phone:518-322-7249, methinks.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous abbi said...

I wish I could have been there. Just looking at the pictures of your homey kitchen warms the cockles of my heart.

5:07 PM  
Blogger thisrequiresthought said...

I used that phrase with Peter M. last week, and he thought I said "the tacos of my heart."

tacos. cockles. whatever.

8:35 PM  

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