Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Fancy Pants Camellia Garden Circle and gourmet dining club

That is one of the names we came up with for ourselves at the annual Camellia Garden Circle White Elephant Christmas party.  It is my favorite Christmas party of the year.  We dress up in our gaudiest Christmas best.  Santa earrings, sweaters with cardinals or snowman or stars, most everyone is in green or red and we eat and laugh and drink wine and laugh and talk and laugh and then do it all again.  The food is amazing from rum cakes to lamb stew to quiche to roll ups, every kind of sweet imaginable and the wine flows like water.  And this year we also had wassail.  It filled the house with the most delicious smell.  After we had loaded and emptied our plates at least once we moved to the living room and did our white elephant Christmas gift exchange.  We are getting better at it.  Last year it was pretty boring, but encouraged by our Bobbie Golden, Host of the party, the CD/DVD rack, which looked like a toilet paper holder to me was passed through several hands.  I ended up with a silicon dish with all the instructions written in Japanese.  The most popular was the moose head egg separator where the egg whites come out the nose and the yolk stays safely in the head.  Yep, we were all impressed by that one!  We laughed so hard and enjoyed each other's company.  

Before long we were telling the same old stories about how we met.  I joined the garden circle when I first moved up here.  I was taking a class in pine needle basketry at the art league from Jane Davis.  She is the mother of my favorite vet, Dr. Matt.  Anyway, I mentioned that I was an avid gardener and would be interested in joining a garden circle if there was one that met on the weekends.  Jane looked at me and asked me if I drank.  I said I like an occasional glass of wine.  She said, "That should work, we meet the third Sunday of the month and drink wine, oh, and there might be some gardening involved.......maybe."  Well, she just won my heart and at the first meeting I met my friend Carolyn and they have been my friends ever since.  And as I sat laughing with these woman.  These supportive loving woman who compliment me on my hair and love my quiche, I realized that I have no reason to be anxious about retirement.  Look at how  busy they are, and all the fun things they do together.  And they are inviting me to join them at these events.  Dottie is going to take me to the once a month vegetarian luncheon.  Carolyn suggested that I would enjoy the Wednesday quilting craft group at the library.  I felt so safe, so accepted, so hopeful that life after work will be full and happy and filled with friends. ah la!  happy days

And as I drove home from this traditional event, singing Christmas songs with the radio I felt such a peace and happiness to be living here.  I loved Pine Island.  I lived there for 20 years and there were lots of dear beloved friends, and I have so many memories of happy times, silly and crazy times.  And now I have ended up here in the cold barren waste land of north Florida.  OK, so it is not barren or waste land, but it sure as heck is cold!!!!!!  And I am again surrounded by dearest friends with the Garden Club, the Art League, the Opera House, work.  I am so so so very fortunate to end up in the middle of a little community that is made up of people who love our courthouse, our Opera House, our library, each other, the crepe myrtles planted along Hwy 90, the lakes and rivers, the wildlife, the small town life.  I love it here, and I love my friends so much.  

I turned into Farm Boy Road and everywhere I looked were robins.  Big fat healthy looking birds with their gaudy red breast.  I don't know what it is about robins, but they make me smile.  And I am still smiling.  My tummy if full of quiche and cookies and rum cake and toffee, and my heart is filled with love and robins, Christmas lights and carols.  The dogs are nestled up near me, the cats are curled up on blankets and I sit here yarning, smiling, and feeling like the luckiest person in the entire world.


  1. You know why you make friends so easily? Because you are so easy to love. There is no one like you, Kathleen. The day I met you was one of the luckiest days of my life.
    I am so glad you have moved up here where it is cold, yes, but where the robins come through and cheer us up, where there is so much to do if you care to look.
    Beautiful post.
    I love you...M

  2. oh that sounds like such a nice place to lucky thing...

  3. I like robins too. Our feeders are filled with birds this time of year. Even the raccoons and the opossums come for some spillage out of the feeders. And we put sweet feed on the ground for them too. I need some kind of outdoor camera to see what they are doing at night and who else might be visiting.