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Max Hartshorne, travel website editor, sharing some of the stuff I read, hear and see with you. Updated every day. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

What Makes a Great Weekend?

by Max Hartshorne on December 2, 2012

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We only get 52 weekends a year, and I often like to take stock of what transpired during mine, sort of like how I am after a movie or after a dinner date. Did we like it? Did we have fun? Would we want to do it again?  What was wrong or right with the chemistry?  It’s always nice for me to catalog and put into the vault a particularly special and fun weekend.  This one definitely was that.

But what makes it a good weekend? What about it was good?  For me it’s all about the elements that are important to me.  Fires. Good conversation. People mixing well, and little ones thrown in to leaven us all out.  Our weekend began on Friday night with the arrival of our three houseguests–my voluable, effervescent sisters, all three of ‘em.  We had my cousin Paul come over but no other guests, and I had prepared some garlic shrimp and pasta that was raved about.  Check, another big thing for my weekend quality meter is how well I cooked something. Nothing leaves a worst taste than some failed experiment, some time when my creativity went off the rails and I tried to make something that turned out lumpy, bumpy or just plain bad. It happens.  But not on Friday.

We sat at table for hours.  That’s another big element of the good weekend–how long did you sit at the table, talking, laughing, drinking wine and totally enjoying someone else’s company?  If it is more than a few hours, then yes, it was a good night. My gigantic wooden farmer’s table always provides a place where people want to stay. It’s a bit too big for our dining room, but I’ll never replace it because it’s been too important a part of our long languid dinners.

Saturday brought errands, and some relaxing, and then an onslaught of mixing two families as night fell. Mary’s brother and family and her daughter Emily joined with the sisters and a bunch of my cousins.  Dogs ran around the house, a fire merrily blazed in the Franklin stove, and my pre-made turkey chili was a hit.  And an outside fire in the firepit capped off the night. Everyone was so engaged in conversation and laughing that we stayed together for many hours, until we repaired out to the firepit.

A weekend doesn’t get any better and how lucky I am–I can find the greatest joy in the simplest things.

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