Our First Guests

Over the summer we moved out of a so-so two-bedroom apartment into a much better one-bedroom apartment. Downsizing wasn't ideal, but it was the only solution we had at the time. We were on a backpacking trip over Memorial Day weekend and came home to find our apartment flooded - a squishy, squashy mess. When the mold began to grow on the walls, we knew we had to get out. We took four carloads of junk to the Goodwill, left a bunch of furniture next to the dumpster, packed up our kit and moved into the smaller apartment.

This move has turned out to be just what we needed. Both the apartment and town are magnitudes better. Yes, the apartment is small, and yes, there is a bicycle in the kitchen, but we have actual windows with actual sunlight. Goodbye SAD sunlight lamp! Paired with the washer and dryer, our apartment is pretty neat. The town of Media is even better. There's a charming downtown area just a couple of blocks away, with restaurants, shops, parks, and a theater for live entertainment. We've already been to a concert and were able to walk there.

Andrew and I haven't had a lot of guests since moving to Philadelphia. At first we didn't know many people, so there was no one to have over. Even after we got to know people, I didn't feel comfortable about having guests to our apartment. The last place just wasn't pretty. It didn't feel like a home and I didn't want anyone to think it represented me. It seems vain when I reflect on it now, but my home feels like an extension of me, and just like I don't want my picture taken when I have an acne flare-up, I don't want anyone over when my place looks like hell.

A few months ago, one of Andrew's coworkers organized a supper club for seven of us, where we each take turns hosting the group for supper. The host makes the main course and other people bring a salad and dessert. It's been a lot of fun to hang out with a group of people and it even fulfilled one of my dreams - we had a deep-fried turkey! Andrew and I held off hosting the dinner because our new apartment "wasn't ready." Even though we've been in the place since July, I still had a couple of boxes next to my desk. Pictures were still propped against the wall collecting dust bunnies instead of hanging on the wall. Our stuff was scattered hither and yon, with laundry draped over every available bedroom surface, the dining room table covered in a collection of old receipts, bicycle parts, and everything else that didn't have a home, so it was a relief when we finally hit our turn in the dinner rotation because it gave us the motivation we needed to get the place sorted out.

Seven people is a full house, but what a great time! We ate Jackie's Mexican Lasagna (recipe to follow), homemade guacamole, salad, and Jake's baked apples with ice cream. Over the last six years we've been moving a huge quantity of board games from apartment to apartment and we finally got to put them to use, introducing our friends to Blokus, followed by Battleship and Guess Who? (still fun all these years later). It was lovely to host a party again; it's been far too long since I've been able to fuss about these kind of details.

Next up, my favorite annual visitor: Thanksgiving with Uncle Jim! He'll get to help us break in our new television while we pour over the ads in the newspaper and eat pumpkin roulade from the Food Network.