Seriously! Back when we were designing the plan for the remodel of our house, and I was begging and pleading for the addition of a porch, Hugh adamantly refused; he said we would never use it and that it would be a waste of money that could be spent in other areas of the house. I disagreed, pointing out the many, many ways that we could use such a space. I think we all know that I won that battle, and, I think we all know that the porch has since become a central meeting space for people visiting our home.
I think that the key to a lengthy marriage includes not saying "I told you so", but; I totally told him so.
Anyhoodle, Sunday evening, we hosted dinner for friends visiting from Germany. Patrik was an exchange student back in 1981, and Oscar and Emily hosted him for a year. Since then, he has stayed in contact with the family (helped along most recently by Facebook). His last visit to the States was back in 1995, when Hugh's sister got married, so it was high time for him to come back. His wife, Anya, joined him, and, it was delightful to visit with her; we discovered a shared love of wine and, oddly enough, Little House on the Prairie (we've both read all of the books in the Ingalls series and part of their trip included a stop at the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum in Iowa, which, according to her, made Anya's life complete).
Anya was blown away by the porch, exclaiming that it was "Like something out of Hollywood", which, makes sense when you consider the lack of outdoor living space available in Germany. We chatted about the unique culture of the American porch while enjoying a charcuterie board and bottles of Pinot Grigio (me) and Pinot Noir (Anya) and Hugh grilled up a feast, including elk steaks (a fond memory for Patrik), salmon steaks (Anya is a vegetarian who also eats fish), and chicken (hello, have we met?). We also served fresh, locally grown sweet corn, my famous mock Caprese salad, and, for dessert, locally grown peaches, grilled and topped with ice cream and whipped cream.
After dinner, we took our drinks to Hugh's Man Gazebo, where we spent the remainder of the evening enjoying the fire pit and gazing at the stars.
This is the part where Hugh says "I told you so", since I mockingly argued that he would never use his Man Gazebo, back when he was slaving over its construction. Sarcasm is another key element of a long marriage. You know, in my experience.
Patrik and Anya are here for the rest of the week, and we are hoping to spend a bit more time with them, possibly on the porch. Possibly in the Man Gazebo. Who knows, at least we are covered either way.
I told you so.