I’m an empty nester with a full heart. There are so many wonderful folks in our next generation to love, and while I don’t speak with them very often and see them even less, they are always with me.
And when I do see them, it’s fabulous! Such was the case in Washington, D.C. a couple of weeks ago. I was attending an annual conference where I’m very fortunate to get to speak about my work, and had one short free evening the Sunday before it started. Enter Melyssa and Steve.
Melyssa is one of my marvelous nieces. We are close.
Steve is Melyssa’s partner. They share an adorable apartment right across from the Washington Nationals stadium. Melyssa and Steve are living the very dynamic and fabulously interesting lives that young professionals live and have awesome stories to tell, but I won’t go into those details. Those are their stories. This little story is just about how wonderful it was to hang out with Melyssa and Steve at that adorable apartment – just for a couple of hours, just the three of us.
I was lucky that my free time that Sunday spanned dinner time. Steve made a salad with a dreamy homemade balsamic vinaigrette and Mel made the main course, a hearty, rich, creamy Zuppa Toscana recipe she had found online. Yum! A special bottle of wine they purchased during a Napa Valley trip earlier this year made its welcome way onto the table, tasting very nice in delicate crystal glasses.
I felt like a visiting dignitary. Since I’m the cook in the family and folks usually come to my house, it isn’t often that I’m the guest. It’s a pretty good feeling! Mel and Steve spoiled me, and I reveled in it. We were undistracted by devices, mindful, in-the-moment and happy to be together. We had a wonderful conversation ranging from travel to politics to the importance of challenging work to the meaning of life, accompanied very appropriately by music from my parents’ generation that is special to my whole family: the Kingston Trio. I also felt like the world is in good hands with young people like these gearing up to take the lead.
It was a perfect little party for three – my niece, her partner and me.
It’s the little things.
If you’d like to make the soup, you can find it here:
And if you’d like to check out the Kingston Trio album we were listening to, I think it was the Greatest Hits Album (click here for Spotify). Or just watch and listen below as they bemoan the fate of Charlie on the MTA. Great stuff.
Again, it’s the little things.