A New Way To Entertain

The Covid germs have changed how we live our lives. But I never thought we would be holding a party in a garage.

Recently 2 events occurred which required a celebration: my daughter Jennifer graduated from a 2-year Nurse Practitioner program, and my son James got a big promotion at work. We’re pleased for both of them and proud of their spouses who have supported them the entire way. A special dinner seemed appropriate. But with covid case numbers rising, the advice is to stay safe, stay socially distanced. No indoor gatherings. What to do?

Send Skip the Dishes to each of them? Then my husband Peter and I would lose out. Entertain on the patio? What if it rained or, worse yet, snowed? We tiptoed down to the basement and slowly opened the garage door. Not good. See what I mean?

Anybody else would have shut the door and said “forget it!” But we saw potential: the garage is big and it’s surrounded by house on 2 sides, so it’s not too cold. We got to work. Peter moved the cars out and washed the floor. Then he washed the garage door. Really, he was getting carried away!

Meanwhile I went to Dollarama with my mask on and bought a dozen plastic table cloths for $1.25 each. I planned to hang them from the ceiling and cover up all the “stuff” around the walls. I got out the step ladder and tape. But the tape would only stick to the table cloth, not the plaster ceiling. I tried duct tape, rug tape, packing tape. Then I tried school glue, contact cement, and china glue. No luck.

Finally I noticed there were nails protruding from the top of the shelving units which lined the walls. I poked the plastic table cloths through the nails – success. It just meant that the top shelf showed. I would have to hope that people would be having so much fun that they wouldn’t look up! We found some old rugs to cover up the stains Peter couldn’t get out of the floor. Then we raided the patio for outdoor furniture.

Now for some touches of elegance. I got out the good silver and dishes. Who says you can only use them in the dining room? During covid – all things are possible! Next I found battery-operated candles. No real flames allowed in case there were gas cans or paint thinner hiding behind the fake plastic walls. Then I set out a big bottle of hand sanitizer as the table centrepiece, and artfully tossed some gold confetti around it. We were ready!

Oh not quite. Now we had to dress up. But how to look glamorous wearing our winter coats? For temperatures in the single digits, we needed something under our clothes. Thermal underwear to the rescue!

Finally it was party time – and the guests arrived, dressed warmly, but looking a little skeptical; all except Richard who says he wears shorts until after Hallowe’en. But he also brought a hostess gift – gloves for everyone! When drinks were offered, everyone chose Hot apple cider. This was followed by more Hot food – appetizers, meat, vegetables, and Hot pie for dessert. Everyone was upbeat and we had lots of laughs about our new lifestyle.

But as the evening wore on, the 4 guests began to fidget. They put on their gloves. They stomped their feet. They went to the washroom just to warm up. Then James announced that he could see his breath; and maybe it was time to leave. With teeth chattering, everyone agreed that the party had been a success. Then they rushed out to the warmth of their cars.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for; the big reveal:

Beautiful, eh? You can do it too! Just head to your nearest Dollarama right now before all those fabulous table cloths are sold out. Then hit an outdoor store and buy some thermal underwear. You are all set for winter entertaining.


7 thoughts on “A New Way To Entertain

  1. You are the best mom ever! What a lot of work but it looks great. I can’t imagine your kids enjoying anything more – safely celebrating with family and (hot!) yummy food. Congratulations to the kids! Well done for sure.


  2. Sue, you have always been able to come up with creative ideas – from learning Italian before your wedding to ASK to MOSAiC to your Country Confessions to your garage, just to name a few! I love reading your Seventy in the City every week. Another example of your creativity. You are an inspiration.

    Murdene ________________________________


  3. We did the same at Thanksgiving only with 13. Sara and Steve have a 25×25 garage so we were well spaced. It was 9 so pretty chilly


  4. Very inventive and industrious! I’m sure that your family appreciated your efforts. You might need a patio heater if you’re planning to hold Christmas in your garage.


  5. Well done Sue, a Thanksgiving dinner never to be forgotten!! It will be a bit chillier on Dec 25th😂😂!! AM golfed today but she said it was really too cold for her. She’s going to visit Uta on her way home. Who knows when we will all be together again. 😂😂. No Christmas get together lunch by the looks of things. Take care. Stay safe. M.

    Sent from my iPhone



  6. Dear Sue, you and Peter are so much fun and great party organizers. One very fun memory I have with you was the Royal Wedding Party at your house at 5:30 in the morning. And now see how Covid has made us become very creative. We have space limit (just the other way round the bigger the space in between the better) and travel limit (even if it is “traveling” to the grocery store or any other store or place) this has enabled our minds to become very creative. That creativity and joy is something we were starting to become unfamiliar with. Now we seem to have more appreciation for everything. Hope everybody stays safe and all will be over soon.
    Thank you for sharing your celebration and congratulations to your daughter and son.


  7. Well Sue, you and Peter are a Designer Duo, Molly Maid and Skip the Dishes team all rolled into one! Are you for hire? Hope you had a great celebration. Kids are blessed to have to two of you!


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