[In case you missed it, part one is here.]
Apart from my paranoia leading up to the potluck, it was a success overall. The day turned out to be warm, albeit a little windy. Okay, a lot windy. One of the college students who sat outside at the picnic table to eat had long hair, and when I looked out the window, her hair was blowing horizontally. But it was still good to have a place for the little guys who came to the potluck to run around. (And luckily, the previous owners of the house had a very deeply dug metal swingset that is at least safe enough our friends trust their kids playing on it.)
We had marrieds and singles, kids and adults, college students and middle-aged. All we really need to complete the circle are a few senior citizens to stand in as grandparents. I’m sure we can swing that eventually. Friends from church, the philosophy dept, the college broadly, and our neighborhood came, and it was nice that not everyone knew each other. Luckily, our friends are friendly and like to chat. That’s why they’re our friends.
In fact, our neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. A, came with their newborn, and they were greeted at the door by folks they didn’t know and welcomed to the party before I even heard them arrive. (Later, I saw their newborn being carried around by another one of our friends, even taken outside, so clearly they were willing to trust these friendly strangers.)
The potluck itself was “harvest” themed–and in addition to the butternut squash-apple soup and bread we provided, we had a pork and pumpkin stew, some fruit salad with nuts and cranberries, some baked mac & cheese with cauliflower in it, baked spaghetti, and then cookies, pumpkin pie, and ‘cushaw’ pie. (The latter is basically a pumpkin pie made with a big green and white winter squash instead of pumpkin. That might sound strange but since rumor has it that canned pumpkin in the store is often canned cushaw, we’ve probably all had our fair share of cushaw pie without even knowing it.)
I don’t know what next month’s potluck will involve–different folks? Different food? Different stresses and chaos leading up to it? Yep. But there’s one thing I can guarantee it will involve: a big batch of community.
Until then, go cook yourself some cushaw, and let me know how it goes.