As Saturday, February 16th approached, Gina and I started getting into high gear. Why, one might ask? On that particular Saturday the ATC was hosting it’s first fundraiser in the new dining hall. Yes, that dining hall that so many of us put so much into to get it raised and finished. We were doing a sit-down dinner and dance: The Aphrodite Dinner & Dance, to be precise. Hosting this would answer questions for the future such as, “How many pagans can we cram into this space fairly comfortably?” We learned that number: 32. I was hoping for 42, but all I got was a limp towel and dogs volunteering to be added to make up the numbers.
The dinner started late, I have to admit. Apple-baked pork loin with cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, ginger carmelized carrots and dinner rolls. For dessert, chocolate mousse with real whipped cream or apple pie for those who were lactose intolerant. Although we had quite a few more people attend than registered (about 12), thanks to Hestia we had enough food for everyone and a few folks even got leftovers. Jake, I am proud of you for holding your ground and for keeping the coffee rolling!
It was a thrill to see so many gathered together laughing and sharing, eating and smiling. Our servers, the Misses Madison, Melanie and Samantha and young Mr. Ramsey did a fantastic job of making sure everyone received a plate (watch those thumbs!) and dessert. They also bussed tables and helped in the kitchen. Gina and I had a fantastic crew. Even attendees were helping out! Buddy made outrageously good garlic mashers with the help of lovely JaCee! And Sarah kept sneaking in washing a plate here, a glass there, a quick sketch of Pan on the board. It was a kitchen filled with so much love I’m sure there was a glow all around the property! And that was before the dancing got underway!
I also discovered that more people can fit in the hall once the tables have been folded up and the chairs have been pushed back to allow room for dancing. And dance we did! One of our great long-time members, Jeff was at the board spinning tunes. He has the greatest hair, so I call him DJ Curly Jeff. I am envious while appreciative! On top of that, Jeff is a great DJ with an ear for flow with the music. Since we are all different ages, Jeff had quite a wide mix. We also found out that the acoustics aren’t that bad in the hall. The highlight of the dancing for me was my dance with Pete to Unchained Melody. The only problem was that we both wanted to lead!
Let me tell you, the folks at the dance rocked and rolled and laughed so much that the energy rose through the roof! I saw the sweat shined, grinning faces of the people I love and felt blessed to be there. Bella, you and Dusty sure cut a mean rug. Ladies, and you know who you are, way to move it mamas! Not to forget our wonderful men, Pan in their eyes as they look at their partners. The feeling was that the night would continue past the the time of their leaving here. As the energy pulsed, I gave it a push to send that love and community energy out to all of the community. Love and Energy not just for our Pagan and Wiccan community, but for our wider community as well, whoever and wherever they may be.
The night ended at just the right time: neither too early nor too late. Many people popped in and out of the kitchen to help clean up as much as possible (Sarah kept sneaking in, and I love her for it!). Everyone was exhausted in such a good way. Thank you Pete, for dancing with me. I love you for encouraging us to try out our idea. Bella, thank you for being so supportive and showing that support in everything you do. Gina, I love you. When my spirit quavered, yours held me up. I’d say we make a pretty good team. Madison, Jessa and William, you were there the next day to help handle the aftermath and make us all breakfast. Thank you Mother! Thank you Father! Blessed Be!
So Gina, what was that about a Mororoccan theme…