smart hostessing

When we were in Pennsylvania last weekend, we spent the night at my aunt and uncle’s place. We arrived at their place right before bedtime, and, while visiting with my aunt in the kitchen—she was flitting about, smacking flies with deadly precision and then carefully dropping their mashed bodies into the compost bucket—I asked if their family would be attending church in the morning.

“No,” she said, and then, dropping her voice to a confessional level, “We actually decided to take advantage of all the company and put everyone to work. We’re going to do peas first thing.”

When I got up the next morning, most everyone was already outside on the patio, pans of peas balanced on their laps.

Conversation fluttered from topic to topic—trees that might need to be cut down, a cousin’s rationale for eating ice cream for breakfast instead of at bedtime (then I have all day to burn off the sugar!), building projects, job offers, etc. My cousin’s wife had just had a baby that morning, so phones kept pinging with text updates: gender! size! name! pronunciation of name! And all the while, our hands were moving—pop open the pod, thumb-scrape the peas out, toss the shell into the basket, and repeat.

pea thief

Wanna know something? A patio pea party makes for a pretty awesome church substitute: grounding, meditative, productive, and relational.

Yo, churches! Beat that.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (6.16.14), dobby and luna, language study, a dare, when I sat down, Kate’s enchiladas, naps and mowers, cold-brewed iced coffee and cold-brewed iced tea, old-fashioned vanilla ice cream, and how to freeze spinach.  


  • Suburban Correspondent

    I would give anything to have something like that to do during church! I can't bear just sitting there, and my husband won't let me knit.

    • Margo

      huh – I finally started knitting during church this year and I LOVE IT and I just coolly ignore the glances because I know that my heart and brain are much more focused on God than when I was fidgety.

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