It was a nice evening, still too cool to spend much time outside, but the promise of spring was there. Our host made a perfect version of Julia Child’s Lamb Stew–and our hostess made a Buttermilk Lemon Panna Cotta. The wine flowed, the conversation carried the night, we got to know our hosts and the other couple they had invited better. After dinner there was coffee and conversation and friendly dogs wanting to be petted.
As much as I like to entertain, there is a different kind of pleasure in being the guest at a friend’s home. We go out so often with business associates–many of whom we are very friendly with–but there is a difference. No matter how friendly the relationship, when there is an ongoing business relationship in the mix there is always a bit of a shadow. I notice that when former clients have retired the relationship changes just a tiny bit, and becomes just slightly more comfortable.
Friends by choice instead of business colleagues just made for a more relaxing evening, and I can’t wait to try to make Panna Cotta at home!
For months, I’ve been working on a large meeting we are coordinating in a different state. I had a committee of volunteers there, who helped with ideas and some of the local coordination. I traveled to the city myself a couple of times in prep, since a lot of the up front stuff fell to me, because this is my job–and they were volunteers with other jobs. So I wrote and managed the promotional mailings and website, hotel contracts, caterers and coordinated with the locals on the site, managed registrant lists, etc. Since the hosting org is a relatively small company, I was ithe person managing everything from speakers, welcome bags, badges, door prizes, writing and printing agendas… just all the little details.
And it came together, mostly without a hitch. Three days of workshops, educational sessions, planning sessions and networking for a little fewer than fifty people. The weather (which we’d used as part of the draw–come to this warm coastal town) was nice for the first day, and cold and wet the rest of the time. In a way, that worked in my favor, as it discouraged attendees from going fishing or golfing in lieu of attending meetings. The caterers did a great job, the hotel was nice. People got along well. I’m going to count it as a success!
Tommorow, I’ll begin writing thank you notes to all the people who helped make it possible, but for now, I’m going to bask in the glow of a small success and put my feet up!