And now for my next trick . . .
So, I was invited to take a spin at being a server and bartender's assistant last weekend. A bit apprehensive as to my abilities to gather guests' glasses and plates and offer them cocktails, I discovered that several decades of participating in and hosting parties had prepared me quite well.
The hostess' home (located in Arlington, VA - yes, the gypsy will travel for work) is magically decorated with some touches of southwestern natural beauty and the in-ground pool was ringed with tiki torches under a ceiling of soaring trees and a star-filled sky. She was even prepared with a mint bush so we were able to prepare an unlimited supply of mojitos for Susan, the birthday girl and the other guests.
At the beginning of the party, I limited myself to only preparing sodas and pouring beer or wine. However, with the direction and encouragement of the expert bartender, I eventually found myself mashing mint leaves in a collins glass with a muddler and adding the other refreshing elements. Soon I was whipping up margaritas and cosmopolitans like I'd been doing it for - - - well, for a few hours anyway.
As the evening was winding down and I stood elbow deep in dishes at the hostess' sink, five of the guests began to sing Amazing Grace a capella. Their voices blended in sweet and tender harmonies, and I thought what a grace it can be to be of service in any capacity. The hostess thanked us repeatedly, remarking that this was the first time in six years of hosting parties at her home that she'd been able to "be at the party."