Monday, February 20, 2012

Dining In The Great Outdoors

Recently a group of us were together at the memorial for our dear friend Pam's Dad, Mike Sgobba.   It was at this memorial that we said we needed to plan a get together soon.  And soon, we did.  We hosted a group at our home yesterday afternoon.  This group of friends was part of a larger group of us that used to take an annual houseboat trip to Lake Mead every year at the end of the summer.  There were two full boats, about 20 or so of us.  We had such wonderful times on these annual trips.  The next time we have a get together, I want to try to have everyone there.  Lasher's, Moore's, Covington's, Kirshner's, Schmitty, Jen, everyone.  I don't think any of us are up for that kind of a trip anymore, but maybe a cruise?
Greg and I had planned to have dinner outside because my house doesn't have a dining room, and seating a group larger than 8, all together at once in the house just doesn't work.  Unfortunately, the weather changed from summer like, to quite chilly by yesterday.  But we did it outside anyway.  I thought we could eat outside, early in the evening, and then go inside.  But we wound up staying outside the whole time.  I pulled our picnic table from the grove up to the patio deck, and set the tables so that we could all sit together.
My original plan was to set the tables in the grove, and string white lights between the trees.  But with the threat of rain, we decided not to do the lights, and just set the tables up on the bbq deck, and then we could easily change to plan B if necessary.  I wanted rustic, and used burlap runners for the tables, with quilts on the picnic benches for comfort. 
The bar proved to be a valuable asset for an outdoor party.  Holding so many of the necessary things needed for dinner, as well as looking pretty.
Next to the bar was a copper bucket for keeping drinks chilled.  I had extra blankets out for additional warmth, and it was so cozy sitting by the fire.
Everyone brought a dish, and even though Deb brought two lovely appetizers, I made this as well, just in case they arrived after the other guests. 
They arrived FIRST...and we had so many goodies to enjoy!
As soon as everyone arrived, we brought the goodies outside and settled in for some good food, great conversations, and a wonderful evening together.  Already, the guys are "discussing" the best way to BBQ the Tri Tip!!!
Someone said something funny, but I don't remember who?
We gathered at the table just before dusk, to enjoy good food and good friends.  Greg toasted to the longevity of friends, and all of us being together.

 And then we ate!
And oh how yummy it all tasted!!!  After dinner, we lingered at the table while Kathy read some of the old information flyers she had saved from our houseboat trips. 
Anything that may have happened on one of the trips, would certainly be noteworthy fodder for Gregg Sporrer to include in the next year's flyer.  We had a good laugh over remembering the story of my Greg and the girl in the day glow orange bikini!!!!!!   He made the next year's flyer in a big way!!!
The gals.  Not a good picture, but this was the best of the lot.  ( I had to change clothes because when setting food on the table I leaned over a candle and caught fire!)
One of the really wonderful things about our gathering last night....was that Debbie, the lady in the pink, was there!  Debbie was in the hospital this time last year fighting for her life!  She spent several months in the hospital, and has been recovering since.  But she is doing great now!!!  Standing directly behind Debbie is Pam, her sister, and my friend since Jr. High school.  In fact, we all went to high school together.  All except Lori, front middle.  We met Lori and Tim through Pam and Gregg.  The guys played baseball together, and formed a great friendship, and they introduced them to all of us, and now here we are, all of these years later!!!

I tried to get everyone to come inside for dessert, but instead we settled in close to the fire, with blankets and coffee and enjoyed the pies and cookies that Kathy brought.
 The evening came to an end, and we said our goodbyes, with promises to do this again very soon.  Greg and I took a quilt and went back to sit by the fire and rest a bit.  It was a PERFECT night! 
Thanks for sharing it with me.
XO  Kris


Bethany said...

Pie, by a cozy fire, snuggled under a blanket, laughing and joking...perfect indeed.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

That is my kind of gathering, simple, rustic and full of laughter. I see you have a Weber gril, nothing better, they last forever. Love the lights hanging in the trees along with the oranges. That is neat, just walk outside in the AM for fresh squeezed juice. The cart was a perfect find and you brought it back to life.

Blessing to Debbie and may the lord keep her healthy.

The Garden Bell - Kate said...

Someone know how to totally rock a great outdoor party there. Looks like you were up until the wee hours of the night have a ball. Nothing like a firepit to keep you going.

From the Kitchen said...

That's my kind of gathering--just not around here in the winter!! Nothing better than good friends gathered around good food with good memories.


Holly said...

HEY!!! You let those people eat my cheeseball! Looks like you had a great time, sorry you set yourself on fire, your so graceful!

Kerri said...

Sounds like a great evening with old friends Kris! You guys do such a great job of making time for the people you care about in your life. Much to be learned there. LOVE your tray cart!!! I want one too!

Debbie said...

Sounds like a perfect night...good friends, good food, warm cozy fire. Doesn't get much better....except for the "catching fire" part. Goodness Kris, glad it was nothing bad. It has cooled down a lot huh? Though I have heard the week is suppose to warm up.

Genn said...

looks like such a fun time!
everyone looks great!
i'm glad you all got to get together. :)

Nicolle said...

It does look and sound like a perfect night. I love get-togethers like that, when it's fun and it all just feels right. I love your chiminea too. Great pictures!

Janna said...

Your outdoor setting looks like my kind of party! I love catching up with friends you've known for years but haven't seen enough of. So much fun!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Always a good time at your house!

Heather - The Good Life said...

What a wonderful evening with your friends. Everything looks so warm and inviting. You certainly have a gift for hospitality. Hope your week is off to a great start. Heather

Deb from Denver said...

Sounds like the perfect evening! Isn't it wonderful to get together with old friends and re-visit all of those fun memories!
Have a great week!

❀❀❀Ðαωᾔ❀❀❀ said...

What a perfect evening:) Your cart turned out just perfect and very stylish while useful. The quilts on the bench was a cute touch!!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

What a nice get together with friends, Kris. Being together, along with good food and happy memories, was enough warmth for the crew on a chilly night. You are the best hostess!

Jill said...

Such a wonderful blessing to have great friends gathered around for a wonderful time! So glad to hear your friend pulled through her illness and time in the hospital.
Hope you have a lovely week!


Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

This looks like a magical evening and one to remember for years to come. I'd love to hang out with you!!!


Petunia Pill said...

Good friends, good drinks, good food, years of memories and just doesn't get better than that! You're a champ for hosting such a wonderful memory making evening! It looks like it was amazing! What a fun post! Hugs, Annette

Karen Bates said...

What a wonderful special that these are friends you have known forever! Happy everyone had a super time.

annielizabeth said...

It's wonderful that you made time to get together with all your friends! Looks like you had a terrific time. Your bar (table) turned out great. Have a super week.

Little Treasures said...

Ooo.. what a fab party you had!!
I love gatherings with friends over good food, good talk and sharing past memories!

Debbiedoo's said...

Whooo hoo..looks like an awesome party Kris. Wish I were, friends and fun!

Pam said...

What a wonderful night with great friends!

I wanted to tell you THANK YOU! My husband and I watched both seasons of Downton Abbey thanks to you and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT and so did my husband. I just got some other friends hooked on it too. It's the best show!

corners of my life said...

Looks like a fun party!

Linda said...

It looks like a great time was had by all! Your table looks so warm and cozy...and the bar turned out great!

Stacey said...

How fun!!! The weather HAS been incredible lately.. That's great that you guys all still keep in contact and get together!