This day, like many, has flown by in a whirl wind.  On May 3, I am hosting a benefit for a local senior citizens’ center.  We will have a silent auction, food, and drinks.  Over one hundred invitations have been sent, but only a few have actually bought tickets in spite of the fact that quite a few people have told me they plan to attend.  Customs vary in different parts of the United States.  When I lived east of the Mississippi River, people actually religiously responded to request for an RSVP.  Here in the Texas Panhandle, not so much.  At this juncture, I have no clue how many people will show up.

About two and on half hours ago, my friends showed up with the forks and spoons and plates and wine and auction items.  These items currently reside in one of the guest bedrooms and the garage.  We decided to have some wine and then I dug out cheese and crackers and some more wine and more cheese and crackers.  And we visited.

A downside of United States life for me is the pace.  Everything is done in a huge hurry.  People even gulp their food.  I especially notice the difference when I spend time with people from other cultures who take hours to eat dinner and visit.  When one of my best friends from India lived here and I invited others over, we took hours to eat and visit.  Recently, when a US friend brought his exchange student from Italy over to ride my horse and his daughter and wife showed up as well, we rode, and then fixed dinner.  We cooked, visited, and ate leisurely.  The young woman said she felt so at home because we were spending time, visiting, cooking, everything leisurely.  I frequently cook dinner very late by US standards, e.g. eight o’clock at night.  When my exchange students from South America lived with me, they thought this was normal.  People there eat late by standards here.  My daughter tells me I have become more and more like all these people from other countries with whom I spend time.  I laugh.

Tonight’s experience further validated my belief in the value of friends and time spent with them.  This was not one of those planned, elaborate events.  We just sat, drank, ate, and enjoyed the pleasure of each other’s company.  It was wonderful.


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