46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. -Acts 2:46 (NIV)
As a Navy man, I know the difference between cleanliness and “white glove” clean. In the ten years since retirement, that is NAVY retirement, I have not kept up the rigor of four-a-day “sweepers”, field days, and “change of command” – mode painting and sprucing. With dogs that shed hair hourly, there only just keeping up with the general clean during the week. On those weekend evenings that we entertain – which is something we are doing again now that we have no children at home – my spouse, and sometimes one of our adult sons – is (are) conscripted in the early afternoon to field day. While Chiefs supervising junior Sailors prepare official Navy functions – at USS Homestead, Chiefs and indians provide the labor. But my bride, formerly the Senior Enlisted Leader’s spouse, has got the whole affair managed. My role subsequently is to take out trash, walk the dogs, put my work-week items away and clean up before guests arrive. ( I went out to obtain the dessert as my contribution to the evening.)
On a Friday night, we enjoy a home-cooked dinner with friends. With friends you can relax; nobody comments on incongruous objects in the dining room – a framed Japanese watercolor cat on rice paper ( hiding a still-to-be sanded hole in the drywall); a framed hawaiian turtle motif on handmade, dyed paper that eventually will move to a more esthetic location; and a bag of dog food that was overlooked in setting the dinner table. While the room needs a fresh coat of paint, the house is clean and welcoming. The dogs are mostly behaved. The dining table is polished, scented candles and the dinner-party china are pulled out.
Entertaining has become fashionable again; we may not have granite counters, but we have solar-powered air conditioning. And games. Mexican Train, a dominoes game, is quite popular with our friends. And with our group of friends a late evening is 9 PM. Best of all, Saturday is not a work day. After an early prayer walk with friends, walking dogs, taking out trash, doing yard work, and putting away laundry I will have time to sit and write.