Monday, August 13, 2012

Social butterflies

"I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone." — Lord Byron 

WHEN I GET really stressed out, I have two bailout fantasies. My completely anti-social choice is living in a cabin in the woods by myself where the only human contact I have is someone who brings me meals once a week. (Apparently my fantasy self isn't any more interested in cooking than I am in real life.) My semi-social scheme is living in a town, population less than 100, in the middle of nowhere where the sum of conveniences and societal connections consists of a one-room post office and a two-aisle grocery. In this slightly friendlier version, I venture out to get provisions and receive mail. 

I actually lived in a place very close to this description, the only drawback at the time, albeit a big one, was the jailer, but that's another story.

For a person with a reclusive bent, I've been a veritable social butterfly of late, but all this flitting about notwithstanding, there is a big part of my personality that left to its own devices would be a hermit crab. 

This sociability is, relatively speaking, a quite recent development; I have spent the majority of my life figuring out how I could get out of being in situations involving people, whereas now I enjoy participating . . . mostly. The change is attributable to being unconditionally loved by Paul. It makes me bullet-proof . . . almost.

My childhood friend Ann and her son Jonathan were in town for a little more than a week. Sandwiched between getting together with them twice, Paul's college friend Kit Bonson came for an overnight visit. 

Paul had a gig in the rotunda of the state capitol the night of her arrival playing for a dinner for a national organization called Women in Government. Kit and I were included as guests. The restored Capitol is breathtaking, and the acoustics were marvelous. Paul put together and led the jazz combo, and he was in especially good form. Afterwards we had dinner at Alba's.

Paul and the combo playing in the rotunda.

A photo Kit shot of the interior.

It's such an awesome place — as in a place to feel awed.

Paul, Kit and me.

Paul and me behind our house, taken by Kit.

My Rotary club donated $150,000 to the renovation of the old public library into the stunning home of the World Food Prize, and as a result our club was treated to an evening reception there two weeks ago. Aside from the building, exquisite inside and out, there are many commissioned art pieces on display. We also learned a lot about the World Food Prize Foundation from Ambassador Ken Quinn's presentation. Below are photos that appeared in Interior Design Magazine.

I attended the Women of Influence award reception Thursday night in support of Teresa Van Vleet-Danos, president and owner of Rowat Cut Stone, and Janet Phipps Burkhead, attorney with Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler and Hagen and a brigadier general in the Army Reserves, both of whom are members of Consortium, the breakfast club I recently joined. 

Teresa Van Vleet-Danos

Janet Phipps Burkhead

The other six recipients were Carmela Brown, legislative advocate and lobbyist; Terry Hernandez, executive director, Chrysalis; Laura Hollingsworth, president and publisher, The Des Moines Register; Rosemary Parson, vice president of operations of EquiTrust Insurance Services; Nichola K. Schissel, retired vice president at Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines; Christie Vilsack, Democratic congressional candidate and former First Lady of Iowa.

This past Saturday night we attended Trisha Hartley and David Crabb's wedding. They're our next door neighbors. Yay, Trisha and David!! We had intended to go from the reception to Tango, the Children and Families of Iowa annual fundraiser later in the evening. I threw an appropriate long dress in the car so I could change on the way, but we had already missed too much of it, and we were socialized-out, so we snuggled up on the futon in the AP room at home and watched a movie instead.

At David and Trisha's wedding reception.
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