Living in the south. I have for all but the first solid year of my life. And I can tell you this. I'm partial. To southern. To a place that slows down and shows up for kindness' sake. Hospitality and homegrown are the bread & butter of living downhill of the Mason Dixon line.
And me? I'm one of those slow-to-settle-in types. This meaning I am not the fantastical new girl on the block that collects a beaucoup of friends real quick like when I move to a new place. Nah. I tend to sink back into the
newly penned address brand new address stamp complete with monogram. Come on, people. It's the south. We monogram. EVERYTHING. Ever since I was a little girl this has been the case. Extroverted as I am, I still maintain a certain shyness when it comes to jumping into the public pool of new friends in new places.
Oh, but once I am asked to swim? You better believe I wear my best swim suit and I'm ready to splash like a whale off that diving board of friendship. The image above is where some splashing took place for me this past Sunday evening. Melanie Bissell's home in Jefferson County, TN is nothing short of Southern Living Magazine glorious. The above capture is of her beautiful back yard.
Melanie has a calling. You see, sweet angels sprinkled magic dust on her in the womb. This magic dust was glittery gold and perfected her person with the ultimate gift of hosting parties like a rockstar. Check out this billowing "B" for "Bissell" on her burlap table runner. Those angels dusted her extra with their heavenly hostess-with-the-mostess wings.
We feasted on stuffed olives, gouda cheese dip to pile in pitted ripe tomatoes. Cheesy pull apart garlic bread and fruit salsa was up for starters too. There was blueberry lemonade and hillbilly punch in oversized decanters for gulping down in her MONOGRAMMED cups. She served fresh spinach salads with your choice of diced grilled chicken or brisket atop. Pound cakes and smothered fruity cool whip coverings were for dessert.
Baby's breath in mason jars with dice tucked into their tiny wavy glass containers too. Can we talk a little more about how badly I covet the set of plastic monogrammed cups for entertaining guests? I am jonesin' for a set. Jonesin', I tell you.
Here are some shots of the dice in action. Bunco is such a fun game to play. I love the musical chairs approach to new partners and new scenery with every round. Jennifer Moore was the overall winner of the $1.00 pot. And check out technology used at its finest by Paula with the flash light option in full effect? That one's a sharp tool in the shed if you ask me. We played until dusk settled over those beautiful backyard hills.
Friendship is important. The long time dear friends I cannot live without as well as the new friends that bring me joy in the different seasons of my life as our addresses change are God given. Both, from Him, are the melody that bring me to a place where I can sing my best Meghan song. Off key and FULL of some erratic dance moves, no doubt. Melanie, thank you for your wonderful hospitality and your lovely southern ways. It's because of your kindness, I now have new faces to smile at when I see them 'round town.