It’s always exciting to me when I first meet people because you never know exactly what your journey with them is going to look like. Will I know them forever? Will I meet them and shortly part ways? At this stage of my life, one of the most fascinating things is to look back and see which relationships had staying power. I have a few long-term friendships. I tend to keep in touch. But one of the more interesting ones with staying power is my relationship with Michael.
We met in Michigan as part of a reorganization with Whirlpool. There was a new leadership team hired that was working on transforming the call center. I don’t think Michael was part of that team, but he was hired shortly afterward as our Human Resources Director. He was single. I was single. We were both Southern. The Yanks thought we should be together, and I asked him to go on a canoe trip. I tell the entire story in a blog I wrote long ago, but, to make a long story short, Michael was gay and had was not interested in what I had to offer. Needless to say, we did not start dating, but we did become friends.
We both moved away from Michigan, and we lost touch. But, when I moved to Memphis, guess who lived there? Our friendship was rekindled, and, through a series of events, we became close. Michael just recently moved to New Orleans with his husband, Darren, and, when my trip to Memphis fell through, I called him to see if I could join his gathering for lunch. The answer was yes, and I made the hour drive to Gretna for Thanksgiving Dinner today.
What I love about Baton Rouge today has very little to do with Baton Rouge and more to do with it’s proximity to Michael’s house. Michael has a way of making a home come to life. He’s an amazing cook and decorator, but he has a special knack for being a host. I always feel welcome, I always leave happier than when I arrived, and I always … always leave full. Today was no exception.
Christmas is Michael’s favorite reason to celebrate, and I could tell he had already started when I walked in the door.
I was immediately greeted by Sandy, an old friend from Whirlpool who was part of that leadership team hired in Michigan. We had a great time catching up and reminiscing about old times. She and her hubby left the snow in Michigan and were enjoying soaking up the sun on the 76 degree day in N’awlins.
It was all hands on deck getting ready for the party that was primarily attended by Darren’s family, Michael’s parents from Pontotoc MS and Sandy, Jim and myself as the Whirlpool contingent. Michael as always did most of the cooking in his three new ovens.
I had plenty to eat….
Rebecca and Amanda had plenty of homemade Irish Cream to drink….
The table was lovely….
The homemade bread and desserts were over the top. In fact, today’s offering goes down as the best apple pie ever that has passed these lips…
And, of course, the room was lovely…
Even the kitchen help was adorable…
To think …. a few months ago, I had to drive 5 hours to Houston in order to spend some time at Michael’s house. Now, it’s a day trip. That’s truly something to love about Baton Rouge.
Thank you, Michael…. another beautiful offering from your hands.
To read about some of Michael’s other parties, check these out: