"Every time we have people over it's like we clean, clean, clean and organize and everything just spills out into a huge mess," I say.
"Yeah," Jack says.
From the passenger seat, he nods, sunlight skittering off the suburban hood into our eyes, the both of us picturing a blooming spectacle of crumpled laundry, toys and miscellaneous paper, pencils, pennies, socks, and sand pulled from the closets and beneath the beds, a fragile castle of organization toppled out the doorway, down the hall and yawning into the living room.
"It's like we pulllllllll eeeeeeeverything out and it's this gigantic mess and then we bring it up, up, up to a higher level," I say.
"Yup," he says.
"And then we just do it again next time," I say.
"Until one day we are just dusting the furniture before people come," he says.
"Hah," I say, "YES," the mirth of that faraway moment, gut splitting hilarity spilled across the front seat. "Yes," I say, the new Jerusalem of entertaining. Once again the bond of work shared draws us closer.
6498. Dear friends come and surround us with fellowship. Everyone settles into the gentle pace of serving food, mouthfuls of soup swallowed between pulling oceans of conversation, reclining and the leisure of many elbows around a small table. All the while, the tidiness of a home cared for disappears, shrunk down to the simple goodness of air.
6499. A dear friend turns 30. A surprise party, all the children help, prepare cards, decorate. Such nourishing work, our hands made stronger, our friendships deeper.
6500. Thrifting provides new sweaters with tiny holes we sew up and a set of small mason jars, glasses for the children.
6501. Jack flips pancakes for the whole crew Saturday morning so for once Craig can lean an elbow on the island and visit with the children over pancake breakfast.
6502. We stay long after church to play with friends and visit. The goodness of life passes between us.
6503. A simple exchange and we finally have the perfect teapot, the kind that can manage a tiny trickle of water into a pour-over coffee stand.
6504. The children continue to practice their art lessons.
6505. A dear weaver from the US shows me great kindness. I take note of how kindness gives birth to kindness, the momentum always to become how we've been treated, every act a pebble in a pond.
6506. Sunday unfolds as if it were many hours longer that the usual 24 with children slipping into bed early and the week taking flight on the quiet wings of rest.