Playing Hostess

As you read this post this morning, I will be welcoming four psychologist interns from the Human Service Center in Fargo to my Human Service Center on the opposite side of the state. The Fargo HSC has a 12 month internship accredited by the American Psychological Association, and when the interns finish next August, they will graduate with their doctorates and start their postdoctoral training wherever in the US they choose to go. They are being sent out to tour the two centers in the western part of the state in hopes that they would consider doing their postdoctoral training at our western HSC’s that are understaffed. I will only have the morning with them, so I plan to entice them with homemade banana bread at our morning Youth and Family Team meeting, and then have them watch me do intellectual and adaptive testing with a 2 year old. They don’t get to do that kind of testing at the Fargo center, as there are private providers on the eastern part of the state who do it. I am the only psychologist, in either the private or public sectors west of the Missouri River in this state who tests, so I get to do all sorts of evaluations no one else in the state system gets to do. It is testing Nirvana, as far as I am concerned.

It was always a big deal when my mother was a hostess for the various women’s groups she was a member of. Out would come the glass plates with the special section for the coffee cup. She would make egg coffee, serve butter mints and mixed nuts, and get fancy finger sandwiches and cakes from two elderly Norwegian sisters in town. The living room and bathrooms had to be spotless. It was always much more formal and fancy when she had her Lutheran Women’s Circle over, more relaxed when her sewing club or fellow elementary teachers came over. I would sit on the periphery of the group, observing and taking in all the conversation.

What sort of gatherings did your parents host? Any special plates or foods? What sort of host are you?

32 thoughts on “Playing Hostess”

  1. I have a pattern with posts, don’t I? Short and sweet and TERRIBLY witty, first off.
    Then three hours later, you get a continuous onslaught.
    Maybe I can get therapy for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mom hosted bridge parties now and then. M&D had an occasional cocktail party too. Other than that, just birthday parties and holiday dinners.

    Mom always served “bridge mix,” some sort of nut and chocolate candy thing. I remember one cocktail party where Harvey Wallbangers were the drink of the moment, so we had a tall bottle of Galliano with a long, tapered neck design. Made a great candle holder when empty.

    I’m an OK host. My wife and I make a great team. She socializes, I cook. We usually center around the kitchen when we entertain. Never threw a cocktail party or a bridge party or any sort of party that I can remember. Maybe a birthday party for someone way back when. It’s mostly just, “Want to come over for dinner on Saturday?”

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Birthday parties! Yes, we did have just one, might have been my birthday. I don’t know who did the invites, but kids from school came, and we were off the beaten track, and nobody ever came to our house. It was a great night from start to finish, the only bit I remember being the highlight. We had a rocking chair, the kind with springs on a firm base. I have to have remembered this wrong. Imagine turning one of them completely over and back upright, with a kid still sitting on it? You would have to be built like a tank. You’d have to strap that kid in place. I’ve often puzzled about what Dad actually did. But the way my memory tells me, we queued up eagerly to sit in that chair, get turned completely over, then get off and let the next one have a go. I don’t know what really happened, but it was fun, and give Dad credit, he had the time of his life with us all.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. My mom had those glad luncheon plates, and she may have belonged to a bridge club for a while, till she started teaching music again. Or maybe it was an evening, rotating bridge club my folks both did.

    We have the Britson family gatherings once in a while, but probably not every year, and I do remember helping make scalloped corn for dinner once. After they were empty nesters, they hosted a Norwegian kumla feed for a group of friends…

    I am a reluctant host, don’t enjoy entertaining UNTIL the prep is all done and we sit down to eat. We used to have the Hassing Thanksgiving (20-odd people), and I was a wreck the week before…

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I mean I really did.
          I think instead of bonding parties at the field, we’ll have Glad Luncheons. They won’t know it’s not an Olde English tradition.


  4. My mom did very little hosting. The combination of moving around a lot and the fact that my mother doesn’t like to cook kind of put the Kabash on parties at our house. In high school when we were in the same place for several years, my parents belong to a bridge/supper club. For this, my mother got outside of her comfort zone and learned how to make chicken Kyiv and a seven layer spinach salad. Luckily, since there were 12 members of this club, she only had to cook once a year and obviously the supper club members didn’t mind having chicken Kyiv once a year!

    Neither of my grandmothers was a hostess either so I really do not know where I got my love of hostessing. There isn’t anything I love better than throwing a big party, doing all the planning, and organizing, doing all the cooking, and then enjoying all of my peeps around me. When my mom used to be able to visit, we made a great team for parties because she loves coming behind me and cleaning up.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mum did do a big picnic once, probably for the members of the WI. The feared Women’s Institute. Maybe you can imagine what THAT was like, in the fifties and sixties. All the neighbouring women getting together, doing sewing and craft projects probably. Having discussions and guest speakers and passing resolutions. Mum only belonged for a while, but anyway, she put on a picnic in the field next to our cottage, and it was a big event. We didn’t help her get it ready AT ALL, we went up the farm instead and made a nuisance of ourselves. So I don’t know what sort of stuff she had, but I was looking forward to eating as much of it as possible. We arrived home just as it was packing up, and we were in a lot of trouble. We tried not to get to close to Mum, she was looking dangerous, and ladies were scolding us. Keith Glover decided to be policeman, and was trying to grab us and drag us in Mum’s direction, shouting “Impologise!” Our relationship with Keith never was that great. A bad day though, I still feel guilty about it.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. We don’t entertain here. There’s nobody much TO entertain. We go out to the fiestas. Before Justin and Cath bought their holiday house across the square, and we started getting more cats(Cath doesn’t like cats), we’d stock the kitchen counter with drinks on a couple of the big fiestas, and drag the odd person inside, really just to try and make a bit of a centre, and save on bar prices at the same time.
    The Spanish people assume everyone has a big circle of friends. So they leave us to mix with our English friends. We don’t really have too many, and Jane would sooner have Spanish friends. I don’t care too much, but I could do with my few good friends in England being here.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I honestly can’t remember any social gatherings my parents hosted for their friends, although there likely were some, as the neighbors did socialize together. I was probably in my room and the party would have been in the basement. This was the era when just about every basement was paneled and had a bar built into one corner. I do remember that sometimes when my parents went to a gathering at someone else’s house they would take me along in lieu of a babysitter and bed me down amongst the coats on one of the beds.

    For the last 45 years we’ve hosted Thanksgiving for the family. Some of our houses were better suited to large gatherings that others and the extended family has grown with new generations. Our present home is unsuited to comfortably accommodating all those people and Covid gave us an excuse to limit the size but it looks like that may not be the case this year. I can’t say we really look forward to it. It’s crowded and exhausting.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Jane’s mother used to be in charge of that in England, but has lost control over here, and it’s kind of fragmented now. Jane’s brother Justin isn’t here much, but his house tends to be the base when he is. I didn’t take much notice until I wanted to invite a gardening client to the xop (chop) this year. I chose to try not to be offended when that was made difficult.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Mom had the Mothers and Daughters Club, Dad had the local Farm Bureau, and they both had card club. (500). I’ve read minutes of all of them, and my grandmothers diaries. Hosting the family or M&D club was a big deal on moms side of the family.
    It wasn’t always fancy, but you had to have enough card tables and chairs. Mom kept playing cards into her 90’s when she lost her vision.

    We’re pretty laid back. We have the random ‘Porta Potty Parties’ and we love renting inflatables… if we’re having a party, we just want it to be fun. But yeah, the prep work is stressful.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I Robbinsdale, we would often have a summer Super Soaker Party – had a great yard for it… there was often a slip -&-Slide on one side, and the big tree was good to hide behind… It would be a potluck of course. It was a great way for people to get out aggressions in a non-violent way!

    One summer which also held the Summer Olympics, Husband created prizes and ribbons for winners of the various “events”.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. OT: Gatitos Palomar.
    We just thought we were going to throw up a few shelters and start moving cats. How long ago did I first mention all this?
    Today Chelo and I picked up a couple of rolls of flimsy corrugated plastic roofing sheet,discarded by some company she knows. If you look at it, it splits. I don’t know what she’s got in mind for it. I cut a doorway into one of the baths she scrounged. Jane doesn’t think it will be any good as a house, I don’t see why not.
    The council are going to build a storage shed. We didn’t ask for it, but it will be handy. The materials are there, a digger leveled the site, now we just need Rafael to come and build it. Jordi seems to say something different every day,but I know he’s coming. After that, we’ll say, thank you very much, goodbye, unless you’d like to put some green mesh on the fence to stop people seeing every single thing we’re doing.
    We have legal issues which the Ajuntament are working on, in everyone’s interest.
    Meanwhile, cats are being cats elsewhere.
    Bonding parties are waiting to be take place, then written up in “Hostess” blogs.
    I’m a bit impatient.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. OT – Blevins

    Sunday, November 20
    2 p.m.
    Jacque & Lou’s

    The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts
    by Maxine Hong Kingston
    Gathering Moss
    By Robin Wall Kimmerer


  12. when I was a kid, my parents posted the search groups, CFMNCFA Christian family movement Christian family association. I would literally sit at the top of the stairs and listen to them laugh talk shut up the card tables and have discussions and play cards, and they sure did notch in the mints, and I think they have the cigarettes out in the silver cases with the matching lighters on the coffee table and end tables, there were eggs and cupcakes and coffee and it was always amazing and the families that would come over we’re the same people that we shot in church on Sundays when I host my wife likes to put out cheese and crackers and olives and celery and carrots and hummus and wine and Ginger ale and I also host a card game once a month and guitar night once a week for those events I simply open the appropriate corner of my house the cards have been outside on the patio on the summer inside of the kitchen table or out in the garage during the winter guitar night is the same out of the patio in the spring and summer and if it’s raining or in the fall and winter we move into the garage very laid-back no errors put on for the cards. I might put out a popcorn bowl and some peanuts for the guitar night. I offered bottles of water.

    I don’t I don’t know why, when Renee was talking about her mother, bringing out a good Shana and finger sandwiches it brought tears to my eyes, remembering how my mother would do the same and vacuum under the couch, and in the corners of the stair wells, scrubbing the kitchen counter and the corners of the bathroom tile to make sure that everything was perfect thanks Renee for bringing that all back returned to 1960 and that suburban split and three house with the farmers field across the street in the 1960 Ford falcon know in the driveway

    Liked by 2 people

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