It’s no secret that it has taken me a long time to get fully settled in this place. There are several reasons as to why that is, but one of the biggies was it was such a monumental task to find places for everything in the beginning, that stuff got left and left and left. I moved in in July, yet I still had boxes to unpack in September and it was New Year’s Eve when I finally got my family pictures out. I actually had bubble wrap and packing sheets in the corner of the dining room until Saturday, when I finally got them downstairs. They would be there still had I not gotten off my duff and invited some people over for a proper post-Christmas/housewarming/girl’s gathering. I have had friends here and family over since I moved in… Kind, caring people, who look past the bubble wrap and the boxes and the clutter to see that I was working away at it, but somehow I knew that for me to actually get everything sorted, I would have to actually host something. Something where clutter and packing materials wouldn’t be quite so… acceptable. Not that I was inviting the White Glove Brigade, but something that would make me finally get the last vestiges of the move out and away. So I took a deep breath, typed as best as my squeezed-shut eyes would allow, and invited 11 people over. Eleven. I’ve never hosted anywhere near that number, ever. Some sweet friends who, among others (please don’t think I am discounting everyone else!), had been so supportive after an extended difficult time, who had rejoiced with me when that time ended and who had gently, but pointedly, suggested that I have a proper housewarming (originally in the form of a Christmas party, but me being the big chicken I am, I left it too long for it to be feasible, and as it turned out, I wasn’t in the best place for it at the time).
So, I did it. I went easy on myself, decided to try a potluck, so all I had to do in the time leading up was to clean top-to-bottom like a woman who was nervous about inviting 11 people over and get rid of the clutter as best I could. I vacuumed, I mopped, I scrubbed, I dusted. I also baked an apple crisp, but that was the easy part. I planned it so that I had the day before to get ready as well, which helped so much. Also (to all you budding party planners everywhere), one blessing of it being Super-Bowl weekend was there were some great deals on snack food! Take note.
I am so humbled by this next part. Except for one person felled by the awful viruses of the season, EVERYONE came! People who were worried about scheduling conflicts found a way around them. People with little ones to care for found child care. People from out-of-town spent the gas money to get here. They all made it. They all came here. We talked, we ate, we laughed. They gifted me with some wonderful housewarming items that have boosted the homey-ness factor to the cosy-th degree, but most of all, they gifted me with their friendship. For that, I am most grateful.
For many months, I had an apartment. Since the new year started, that has changed. My ability to see what I have has changed. Now, I have a home. It may not be perfect, but it’s nice here.