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Fire by the water

Super lovely party in Annapolis last night. Cj and I have had, from the get-go and still do today, some sort of party-throwing magic going on: he’s got the fabulous home, yard and waterfront space, and he’s great at getting the party space set up and rallying friends to come help. I’ve got the hostessing thing going on with the personal invites, welcoming of guests and engagement. Together, and with incredible ease, peace and grace, we’ve created some of the most chill, laid back, nice-vibe parties I’ve attended in recent years.

Of the many things I enjoy about hosting parties at CJ’s, there is so much space for people to spread out if they want to — in the house, on the back porch, anywhere in the large yard, on a tree swing, down by the fire, down on the dock or even, perhaps, on one of the boats that pulled up for the party. There’s always room for a conversation. It never gets too loud. And there’s always a place and space to dance, and often an LED-lit “dance floor” area and DJ.

There’s something for everyone and lots of opportunity to “Goldilocks” your way around, spending a little time here, then moseying over there, then bopping over to wherever next. I just love it. One of the best compliments I heard from someone when we first started throwing parties together came from a friend who said, “No matter how crowded it gets, you can always hear yourself in a conversation. You don’t get exhausted trying to yell and be heard.” I agree! I tend to prefer a gathering where real conversations are possible.

CJ has a propensity (and the friends to help) to create large art installations (mega spiders crawling on his house’s rooftop, a bamboo-bar jail cell with skeletons inside, lanterns hanging from trees; and his art installations kinda grow and accumulate over time, creating even more spaces and areas for people to congregate and connect.

Thank you to everyone who came out, to everyone who stretched and wore a more fabulous outfit than they might normally sport for a Saturday party; thanks to everyone who brought food, drink, smoke and whatnot; thanks to the chefs and cooks who managed the grill; to the teams that came early and helped set up and to those who stayed – (some overnight) and cleaned afterward; to the people who swept the steps and to those who picked up many sticks and walnuts in the yard before people arrived so folks wouldn’t trip or fall.

Thanks to the people who brought fire poofers and fire art, art cars and fancy motorcycles; to those who helped set up the art and hang the lights; and to those who brought art installations. Thanks to those who brought ice; to those who kept the fire going; and to those who came by boat and added yet another fun space to hang out in. Thanks to those who wiped down the kitchen at the end of the party (and maybe in between) and those who emptied trash cans in the middle of the night. Thanks to those who reached out to someone who might have been feeling inward and quiet, and welcomed them into conversation; and thanks to those who stretched into more connection and more conversation than might have been their norm.

And thanks to those who took and posted photos. Alas, that’s one thing I often put little attention on while at a party but always enjoy seeing afterward.

Big love! We’ll (most likely) be doing this again come spring.
~ Jessie


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