Sidewalks of New York

Quinland has been enjoying a pre-break Spring Break this week, as a parade of good friends has come to visit him in New York on their breaks.

Today, he and Gracie (visiting from Portland) and Alejandro (visiting from Ohio) went to the Museum of Natural History and then to beautiful (and snowy!) Central Park. Then, as they were just walking along through New York, they randomly bumped into Sofia, another friend from Portland who goes to school in the city.

This is a perfectly normal thing because the Borough of Manhattan has a mere 1.6 million people, and Q knows at least 10 of them. With those odds, he can expect to run into somebody he knows just about any time he goes into the city.

(I still can’t get over it.)

Céad míle fáilte

Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day!

In real life, it looks like the Irish flag, but the green and orange chalk didn’t show up well in the photo.

I have no good excuse for not getting this posted in a timely manner; I took the picture, I wrote the title, I got ready to write the post, and then . . . nothing. Oh, well! You guys probably needed a break from me, anyway

But I digress!

For those of you who do not know any Irish words, the title of this post is “A hundred thousand welcomes.” (I don’t think Irish people actually say this, but you read it everywhere when you are there. In fact, the Irish Tourist Board used to be called “Bord Fáilte” – the Board of Welcome.)

I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about being welcoming. I struggle with this. Not because I don’t love people. Not because I don’t want to spend time with them. I do, on both counts! I want to open my house to people, invite them in, cook for them, laugh with them. Welcome them!

So, what’s my deal? I think it’s multi-faceted. There was a long time that I felt my house was too out of control to have people over. For years, I felt self-conscious about the fact that I didn’t really know how to cook. More recently, I’ve been afraid to make plans because my health was so unpredictable. I didn’t want to end up being flaky and canceling at the last minute.

This may be why I don’t stress about having the fry over. They don’t care if my house is a mess; they’ll eat whatever I put in front of them; if I don’t feel well, they’ll actually come up to my room and hang out on the bed with me and the dog. Even if I’m a mess, they don’t care.

I think with adults I feel more intimidated. I want to . . . not impress, actually, but just appear like a competent adult. Don’t worry: I know that’s silly. I know that the people who love me will love me regardless. It is kind of ridiculous, too, because my “issues” really aren’t even issues anymore! My house is basically company-ready most of the time (or 15-minutes-from-ready). Thanks to Blue Apron (my personal cooking school), I now know how to cook all kinds of tasty things. And, knowing my wonderful friends, even if I were truly feeling horrible, they would either a) understand, or b) be willing to come over and hang out with me anyway!

This is the point at which I want to make a pledge, start a new scheme, say I will have x number of people over in the next x number of weeks. But I’m not going to. I have been thinking that scheme-making is just setting myself up for failure. (I know, I know; you all realized this long ago.) But I am going to try to reach out more. The people in my life are so much more important to me than anything else, and I want to start living my life in a way that makes that real.

I am surrounded by wonderful people

It’s been a hectic week, and I’m truly sick and tired. (I went to bed at 7:30!) Before I fall back to sleep, I thought I’d share some of the things I’m feeling grateful for today.

  • For all of David’s extra niceness when I came back from California. (He missed me horribly.)
  • For phone calls and texts and all the love from Q. (I love that kid.)
  • For such a good visit with all my family in California. (I loved the high movie-to-game ratio of this trip.)
  • For having the enviable situation of working with close friends of almost thirty years. (I imported them myself. I highly recommend it.)
  • For Harry and Alfie coming to Portland at last. (It was well worth skipping a day of blogging!)
  • For Nicole, who brought me dinner tonight. (That girl made me laugh so hard I almost choked.)
  • For all of you who read this blog. (I owe you a nice, long post about the Hudson Taylor gig.)
  • For my lovable, cuddly dog. (He’s not a person, but he’s an excellent companion. May he someday be fully housebroken!)