During her birthday week, she threw me a party! I should’ve been throwing her a party but twas MCG hosting and cooking and decorating for me – lawdy! I was heading to Gainesville for a booksigning, thus Maggie planned a party. The girl can plan a party at the drop of a hat – one reason we became fast friends as children! She sent invites that she painted (to coordinate with the menus mind you) and even cooked recipes from A Time to Cook for her guests. We feasted on one of my favorites – a fruit and cheese plate – pork tenderloin, Sea Island corn muffins, bacon wrapped asparagus with tarragon butter and sinfully amazing chocolate chip bars. The dessert may have been our breakfast the next day too!
Speaking of guests, Maggie is so good at assembling a great group. She invited friends of ours in Gainesville as well as new friends to be made that night. We laughed and ate until too late on a “school night” but had a blast anyways! And speaking of a good time, as fun as a dinner party is a la Chez Griffin, the slumber party just may rival the soiree; for, Maggie and her husband, David, have both been friends of mine since childhood. We three can simply talk and laugh and tell stories all night. Add a precious, beautiful baby in the mix is that much more fun! Being “Uncle Jay” to Baby Henry is just gravy!
The three of us end up staying up way too late telling and reliving funny stories from elementary school to college! A piece or two of Buttermilk Pie’s famous pecan, chocolate/peanut butter, coconut or, well, buttermilk (or all the above), is usually consumed with a glass of milk to keep us well nourished during our late night laughs. There is hardly anything better for the heart and soul than to laugh – especially with friends you’ve shared your heart and soul with most of your life.
The menu, the food, the fellowship, the décor – it was all fabulous! Maggie’s sister-in-law is my office manager. Laura Lyn has told me that if I’m “good for one thing, it’s picking up sticks and flowers.” Well, not to disappoint the family, I proceeded with my “good for one thing” so I could at least be somewhat useful for Maggie’s party.
Sticks and flowers I can do! The Griffins live in a beautiful wooded, lakeside neighborhood that was ablaze with fall color. Branches of hickory, oak, abelia and dogwood filled Maggie’s Mama Doris’ butter churn as well as some of my favorite blue and white jardinières on the mantle. Dried blossoms of limelight hydrangea mixed delightfully with cotton bolls and pampas grass plumes and fall foliage along the tabletops in a mix of mercury glass and woven-wicker glass jars.
Being at a party like this, the nursery rhyme song of making new friends but keeping the old plays through my head – and this song is Maggie Griffin to a tee! Some are silver and some are gold, but, y’all, I’m here to say, that this friend is solid gold!!! Mr. Griffin ain’t too shabby either! Thank you Maggie and David for being my friends to me today, yesterday and for years to come! I hope I can only be as kind, generous, thoughtful and supportive to you as you have been to me. The standard is set, y’all, and the standard isc nothing short of solid gold!