Open House at The Enchanted Cottage

A celebration of my home occurs in June. This annual open house has taken place on almost every first Saturday in June. My first home–I bought it and moved in April in 1996. By holding the housewarming in early June I gave myself a deadline to be ready for guests. The party, held inside and outside on the back deck, was so much fun that I vowed to hold it again. I just held the twenty-second celebration of my home–dubbed by my father The Enchanted Cottage.

It’s a charming, cottage-like, Tudor-style house with an open floor plan, built in 1928. Located on a major north-south thoroughfare, NE 33rd Avenue, the house sits at the knee of the hill that takes cars up to Alameda Ridge. The place felt like home the moment I walked in the door. A backyard deck over a small pond added to its enchanting feel and provides a splendid venue for entertaining.

The second year of the party I noted I had made some upgrades to the kitchen. In thinking about the housewarming, to which folks brought gifts, I wanted to honor the “new” kitchen in some manner. So, I suggested that folks bring dry goods for the local food bank. My guests blew me away with their generosity; the donation totaled about twenty bags. What an amazing amount of generosity to tap into. Ever since, the following line is included in the invitation:

As has become tradition, please bring a donation for the Oregon Food Bank (cash, check or dry goods.)

I prepare all the food for the party, which typically includes grain-based salads with rice, couscous and quinoa; along with breads, crackers, cheeses and spreads of all sorts–including a romesco sauce. My late husband liked to remark that, in the party preparations, I get a massive “cooking fix,” as he called it. One year my friend Ramune suggested she come over to help with the preparations. A new tradition began, and various friends have wielded a knife in my kitchen since.

I most enjoy having my various social circles engage with each other. Naturally, I invite my co-workers and neighbors. When I became a ski instructor on Mt. Hood, another circle arrived. I quickly became a regular volunteer at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market–which also evolved into another circle of friends to invite. They all respond to the invitation of warmth, sustenance and fellowship:

The backyard is so lovely in June.  Please come …

Have a Productive Day,

Anne Meixner

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