Sunday, December 03, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jack

As for traditions of reading aloud to one's friends, here are a couple pictures from last night's annual birthday party celebrating C.S. Lewis. A handful of friends who are all willing to be enchanted together gather at my apartment, fix a British dinner, and enjoy the rest of the evening sipping gallons of tea and reading aloud portions of our favorite Lewis books to each other.

We branched out a bit this year in our cooking. Our menu consisted of cheeses, jams, crackers and sun dried tomatoes for hors d'ouvres, fish and chips (traditional, unassuming and yummy), Yorkshire pudding (pictured below -- kind of bland) with Welsh Rarebit (a sort of plainish cheese sauce of little excitement), cranberry scones and clotted cream. And tea, n
aturally.

Pictured right is my husband Josh reading from The Weight of Glory. We also heard portions of The Four Loves, Prince Caspian, The Silver Chair, The Screwtape Letters, Surprised by Joy, The Narnian, The World's Last Night, and a modernized version of Malory's Morte d'Arthur (which was one of Lewis's favorite books). It was a nice variety of humor, inspiration, magic and human interest.

Please note to the left, the lamppost in the background. I am rather partial to all things Narnian.

What a delightful time! How peaceful and lovely to hear a kindred spirit read from the eloquent pages of Lewis. How precious to respond together to the written word. It caused me to think, why do I not do this with God's word more often? I would love to have friendly gatherings in which we celebrate, say, the book of John, or the Pauline Epistles. Wouldn't that be splendid? It may be a bit more difficult to create a menu around those themes!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gretchen - Your creativity and hospitality amaze me. What a blessing to have you as a friend close by! All we're serving is hot cocoa, cider and brownies...oh well, soon I'll be living in the lap of luxery with Melissa - that woman can cook!

GloryandGrace said...

New pictures for you to see on my blog!

I LOVE the idea of a reading night. You sound like my cup of tea (heehee). What is your favorite Lewis book? I've wanted to read The Weight of Glory, but haven't just yet.

Gretchen said...

G-knee, now don't pooh-pooh your party! I'm sure it will be a simple delight! I do wish I lived close enough to come!

Grace, thanks for the compliment. You're invited to my next reading night in Louisville! My favorite Lewis books are still Narnia (and among those it would be far too difficult to choose a favorite), but The Weight of Glory is rather wonderful. I'm only half-way through it, so the verdict's still out.

GloryandGrace said...

I think I already have a kindred spirit and I haven't even met you yet! Thank you so much for the comment on my recent post and how incredibly encouraging and truth-saturated it was. I'm going to add you to my list of friends on my blog when I get a chance :)

Gretchen said...

Thanks, Grace! I'm honored!

Just wanted to point out something cool in the picture of us drinking tea -- you can see the steam rising up from the mug! No, that's not tricky camera work, we just keep our house rather cold! :)

James and Christen said...

I am so sorry about your baby Jesus being pink. She really does love playing with a nativity scene but this is a little too much!

We made it safely to Gatlinburg and the cabin is beautiful.

Pray for us that the kids will be a blessing to everyone here instead of an irritation.

David said...

I haven't read a bit of your blog, but I'm responding because I just learned how to respond to other people's comments on our website.

Hope you guys are well and enjoying this christmas season. We're praying for you- with the move coming up and all.

Later
P.S. - Don't be making fun of my on my own blog.

Sarah said...

Gret, speaking of all things Narnian....Josh's cousin just sent Elise the volume set of Chronicles of Narnia for her birthday today. It came from Amazon, and my first thought as I opened it was "This has to be from Gretchen!" :-) They share the same birthday, so he wanted to send her something that he enjoys. It was very cute! I am hoping she will understand them by the time she is 5 or 6.

Sarah said...

P.S. Your party looks adorable. YOu are so fun!!!! My party would consist of watching White Christmas and eating party appetizers.....

Gretchen said...

Christen, of course it's okay. There is pink only on the underside. Josh had a hunch that something might have gotten "decorated" because he said earlier when he walked in the room Hannah was holding the baby Jesus over one of the (lit!). Not that it could have hurt it! :) We got a rather big chuckle out of it.

Dave -- make fun of you??

Sar -- which editions of the Narnia series did E get? We have the 50th anniversary collector's editions. That sounds fancy, but they are just full color paperbacks. They are a little sturdier than typical paperbacks. The first set we bought started falling apart after we both read them a couple times, so we went for the nicer set. What a nice gift from Josh's cousin! You would be able to tell that the box was not from me, though, because it wouldn't be from Amazon! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh Gretchen you are so cute!!! I love the pic of your husband reading aloud- that shows a lot about him- I think...very sweet!

I love your creativity!

Gretchen said...

yes, Josh is GREAT! I love to hear him read aloud. When we first got married, he read Harry Potter to me, and got me hooked on that series. Who needs TV?

Setrn said...

Gretchen, that sounds like so much fun! I think that your idea of sharing scripture passages at a party would be great. If I came, I might cry over my favorites right now! Thanks for being such a blessing to my family. I miss you already.

Sarah said...

Gretchen, the books are just a basic set of paperbacks (Volumes 1-7). I can hardly wait until Elise is old enough to understand them! My parents never read me classics really, and I feel jipped--so I hope to read tons of them to my kids!
I too would come to your scripture reading parties....can you imagine how different our lives would be if we were that focused on the Bible??