Saturday, January 24, 2009

This Spuds No Dud

Potato sacks are out and glitz and glam is in.  I hope you're taking note, because Highlowaha's People's Choice Awards Show is only three weeks away.  We have lots to do to prepare for our party and picking out just the right outfit should rank among the most important.  I know what you're thinking... Dress up for a Virtual Award Show to be watched on my computer in the privacy of my own living room?  Is she crazy?

No, I am not crazy, but I am serious.  Dressing up in anticipation of walking the red carpet is part of fully embracing and celebrating everything for which Highlowaha stands.  We live the Spirit of #218 - meaning we can find cause for celebration in even the simplest of things.  So, yes, there is a dress code for the People's Choice award and potato sacks are out.  Dust off your fanciest dress and most glamorous jewelry in anticipation of this important One Year Anniversary.

The only thing more important than securing the perfect outfit is submitting your nominations for the nine award categories.  For your convenience, the categories and criteria are listed at the end of today's post.  

Back to potato sacks.  While a potato sack would be wholly inappropriate for the likes of our celebration, potato sacks were 100% appropriate for the party I attended one week ago today.  This party tradition is compliments of my new and special friend, Misty.

Imagine my surprise when Misty excitedly stopped me in the hallway or our children's day care in early December to invite me to her annual... POTATO SOUP PARTY!  What?  Potato Soup Party?  Now I know parties, but never - I mean never - in my life have I have heard of, nor been invited to, a potato soup party.  I was intrigued.

Here's the idea.  Years ago, Misty and a handful of her friends decided to forgo gifts at Christmas time and, instead, to give one another the gift of time.  No presents, just an intimate gathering of girlfriends with a long and cherished shared history.  Part of their history dates back years to when one of the women (Misty) worked at Grady's, a local restaurant with award winning potato soup.  By hook, and probably a little crook, the women got hold of the coveted recipe and pronounced it the official meal of the evening.

Fifteen years later, these women continue to meet for their annual Potato Soup Party.  Over time, each has been granted permission to welcome a guest or two into the mix.  This year I was lucky enough to be among the chosen few.  The warm potato soup is great and worth every carb and calorie consumed.  But, the real warmth comes from an evening spent with smart, fun, supportive women, all of whom seemed to genuinely understand how rare and fleeting moments like these can be as we get older and life gets busier and more complicated. 

We played a game, but actually the game only served as the excuse to get down to the business of sharing life's ups and downs and our most recent trials and tribulations.  An hour into the evening and we were telling stories like we'd know each other for years.  That's the magic of women and, in large part, the secret ingredient that makes the Annual Potato Soup party so special.

The other highlight of the evening to me was listening to the women share funny stories from years past.  There was the year the soup, which normally cooks the better part of the day, hadn't even been started when the guests arrived.  Then there was the year the wine flowed and one of the original five party goers got sick; the year a regular missed the party because she was literally in the hospital delivering a baby; and then the first year the party transitioned to an all night slumber party.  

They spent a portion of the evening retracing who hosted which party and where they were living at the time.  It was fun to listen to, because it was a simple reminder that though life changes, addresses change, family size changes, some things don't change.  Friendship doesn't change and all it takes is to keep something so priceless in tact is a simple bowl of potato soup.  I love for it's simplicity.

I would be remiss if I didn't brag about one more thing - Misty's invitations.  Take a look.  The invitations were handwritten on a cut out potato, placed in a burlap bag, and tied with raffia.  Perfect.  I know.  She's a pro.  One of us.

So while we will celebrate Misty and her potato sack, we will not confuse it, in way shape or form, as appropriate for our upcoming party.  Get busy picking out your outfits.  That's where I'm headed.

Recap of Nine People's Choice Award Categories:
Sliced Bread Award
This People's Choice Award will go to the Highlowaha reader who shared an idea you consider the "best thing since sliced bread."  It's an idea you have either utilized or passed on to others.  Please tell the idea he/she shared.

Raising the Bar Award
This People's Choice Award will go to the reader who shared an idea that has, in some way, enhanced the Highlowaha community.  Please share the name of the person and/or the idea he/she introduced.

Good Neighbor Award
This People's Choice Award goes to the reader whose overall participation and contributions to Highlowaha have strengthened our blog's community.

Energizer Bunny Award
This People's Choice Award goes to the adventurous reader who actively participates in daily activities.

Spirit of #218
The spirit of Highlowaha means making time for interactions and experiences, in spite of the busy, fast-paced lives we live.  This People's Choice Award goes to the person whose life seems to most encapsulate Highlowaha's Spirit of #218.

Home Run Award
This People's Choice Award goes to the reader who whacked an idea so hard, he or she knocked it out of the park.  

The Newbie Award
This People's Choice Award goes to a Highlowaha reader who has only been with us since October 2008, or later but whose participation we couldn't live without.

The Veteran Award
This People's Choice Award goes to a Highlowaha reader whose been with us since at least May 2008 and whose participation we couldn't live without.

Oz Award
This People's Choice Award goes to the Highlowaha reader you would most like to bring out from behind the curtain to meet.

Signing off until tomorrow...  

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