I had a really marvelous weekend. It was nothing special, but did include some time with my family, my godfather/uncle, and seeing familiar faces both at our former church and at a 50th anniversary party. My husband looks at me a little funny, and my grumpy-old-man dad can't even fathom how I can have enjoyed myself as much as I did.
But the thing that is sticking with me is the phenomenon of people who are just magnetic and can make anyone feel like part of the family - you know those people? It is a magical thing when you meet someone and you just know that you and everyone else would just do anything to remain in their inner circle. The couple having the 50th anniversary party are like that, only better. I've met some of those magnetic people before and have had to learn to accept they are sort of that "friends for a season" type of friend, and they move on in life away from me. But this family, who have been family friends of my parents and us for about 30 years, is better because once you are "part of the family", you are always part of the family. Warmly received whenever you can be together. They have five children and I was particular friends with the three older daughters who were all in school and sports with me (the other two were a bit younger). This family had virtually nothing material, and yet if I (and probably any number of other kids in our small town) could have moved into their house and just been adopted into one of them, I'd have done it in a heartbeat. They (the parents) are the kindest, warmest, openest people I've ever met and their kids have grown into so much the same kind of people. What a wonderful afternoon, to be spent catching up with my friends, and hearing stories and seeing pictures of Marlyn and Ildiko's 50+ years together, and talking to so many familiar faces.
I asked Sean on the way home what it is about people that make them so ... whatever it is ... and he agreed he knew what I meant about this family and he could only say that some people just have "it". I would love to have a home where friends and family know they can come and where they will be warmly welcomed and valued and enjoyed, and that the concept of "just pull up a chair" is perfectly acceptable. These folks live on a corner in my hometown, with a big yard and garden, and if you see their lights are on, or people are out in the yard, you know you are always welcome to join them no matter what is going on. And there is always a warm teapot ...
So I come away from my weekend with a renewed sense of happiness, having renewed my acquaintances and friendships, and maybe create a goal for myself to do what I can do to make myself more of that kind of person. I have a warm heart, extra chairs, and I my Keurig can double for a warm teapot, now to figure out what I can do about the stuff in between!