Tuesday, May 30, 2006

House and Hospitality

A drive to see the finishes on a very upscale custom home took us to Castle Rock on Memorial Day. We are looking at wall & ceiling texture to use in our upper level to cover flaws in the ceiling due to the house settling over the years. They are minor flaws, but they drive Steve nuts, little divets where the drywall is attached to the beams, a few cracks in corners and along a few seams. Minor, really, but the drywall guys we've talked to suggested replacing the entire ceiling if perfection was the aim.

Anyway, the road, which I've driven a lot lately, was remarkable for the fields alongside the Interstate. Where just a few days ago they were verdant, with the spring green that promises lushness just weeks away, they were dry and brown as the last days of August. Frighteningly dead and dry grasses and small plants covered the hillsides and meadows.

But last night it rained along the I-25 corridor. Today, when I drove to get my truck from the shop in Parker, the fields were green again, and filled with spring's promise once more. As I was leaving Parker, it began to rain, and rained for most of the trip home. Yea! I long for the late spring, early summer afternoon rains of my childhood. The rhythm of days was punctuated by their regularity. The heat of the day was cooled, and the lawns and gardens soaked up much needed moisture.

Friday we had a bunch of friends over for an ice cream social. It was wonderful. The deck looked great with our dining table lined up with the patio table and chairs lining both sides and the end. Places for 10 people all talking and laughing, drinking tea, coffee, iced mochas, and eating a most wonderfully festive dessert: a Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

If you ever went to Farrel's as a kid, you no doubt remember the zoo. It was an assortment of scoops of ice cream in a very large serving bowl, with multiple kinds of toppings, chocolate, caramel, pineapple, strawberry, marshmallow topping, whipped cream and marachino cherries. In addition, colored transluscent plastic zoo animals were perched all over the top, which peaked high above the bowl.

Well, when I was a kid, my dad began making his own version of this dessert for friends and neighbors. As I remember it, he would invite the entire neighborhood. He would stand in the utility room next to the deep freezer, with every kind of ice cream imaginable lined up in cartons on the ironing board. He would take a scoop of one, then another, then another, until he had gone down the row, then go back to the other end and start all over, until he had a mountain of ice cream in one of those large stainless steel bowls everyone seemed to have back then. Then would come the toppings.

It may sound horrid and overindulgent, but it really is wonderful and people seem to LOVE ice cream.

Well, Scott, one of the teens from church came to help me get ready for company and to serve everyone. He is a wonderful kid! What a great help he was. He made it so much easier, and everyone was so impressed with him.

Down the center of the tables I placed candles in various holders, empty wine bottles, jars filled with sand, and cored oranges (these were a big hit). I had previously strung the balcony railing with miniature white lights left over from Christmas. A side table held a 5 gallon iced tea jar w/ spigot, like a glass urn. Into the sun tea, I floated sliced oranges and limes, for flavor and beauty.

My friend Beth came, sans kids and husband, looking like a million bucks. She wore a truly party appropriate white sash, black satin wrap top and skirt with pearls and elegant earrings. One of the nice things about being of a certain age (which we will not mention) is that we look appropriate in pearls, not like little girls playing dress-up.

After some time, I invited everyone to come in and watch a video explaining what my guest of honor, Morgan, Reeve, is doing as a campus minister with Grace Christian Church which meets on campus at CSU Fort Collins. It's a work I'm rather excited about, as it is really reaching college students for Christ, not in a pushy way, but merely inviting them to examine what the Bible has to say. Follow-up Bible study and discipleship seems to be making a real lasting difference.

I want to introduce Morgan to other Christians for a couple of reasons. One, I want people to get as jazzed about this work as I am. It is energizing to hear how people are being reached and lives are being changed. Just hearing the life stories encourages me and I want it to encourage others. Two, I hope that others will pray for Morgan and her fellow workers and consider supporting them if possible. This is a difficult way for a church to operate, in my opinion. The average age of the congregation must be about 20 years old. This is not a time in life where there is much income of any kind to support the local church, and there is a reasonably large staff working to reach kids.

I fully intend to have other ice cream socials for other occasions, or for no occasion at all, just because it's fun! Anyone who turns down my invitation is really missing out! Dad, if you remember those days, I salute you. You made it look easy. Even chilling the bowl ahead of time, it was really hard to keep the ice cream from melting. Next time I think I will bag up the ice cream scoops and put the whole thing together at the last minute. I wish I had taken pictures. You would love the animals I bought from an online cake decorating store. They aren't the same, but they were really neat. I also made a sign which read "Cheyenne Mountain Zoo" which I attached to a new popsicle stick and inserted atop my zoo.

1 comment:

Beth said...

I testify to that!!! Your evening was delightful and memorable in every way. Thanks for the compliment - going anywhere with you generally makes me feel like a million bucks :-) You're that kind of friend.

Anyhow, I do hope Morgan gets all the support she needs - she seems like a wonderful young lady, and I enjoy her freshness and willingness to go and do and be whatever He wills.