Friday, August 15, 2008

Sometimes -- jcarolek

Last Saturday I had my shindig. My plans had been to invite family and friends to a cookout, bonfire, music-playing good time. Of course, I was not thinking ahead to the fact that my son will be getting married in October and many of my family will be traveling here for that another trip (everyone is out of state) during the times of high gas prices, etc. was not feasible. Still, there were those who could come and I went forward with my plans.

And Saturday dawned a beautiful day. We set about the final preparation for guests, making the back yard into a little camp ground of sorts. My sister and my niece arrived

early in the morning and helped my friend and me string lights and hang tarps, build the bonfire, put screens in the windows so we could enjoy the open air feel, inside or out, and such....

I find it interesting how others view things I see every day. I have an odd little deck in my back yard and I have always just thought of it as a deck. My friend assured me it was a stage. And as we hung the tarp over the deck to offer shade to those musicians we were sure would soon be playing there, it really DID start to look like a stage to me.

We had a great time... well, at least I did. There were 28 people who made it to the party and there was plenty to eat and drink.... At some point, perhaps an hour after people had arrived, after most had finished their first round of food, one of my friends said, "Judy, I thought there was going to be music." Of course, I responded, "so what are you waiting for... come up on the stage and let's play!"

And with that, we all started playing and singing. There were at one time eleven of us playing on the stage. The instruments were varied. We had four guitars, two violins, an accordion, a mandolin, various flutes and drums, harmonicas and spoons. And everyone joined in singing the songs everyone knew. For more than five hours we played and sang on the little stage in the backyard turned campground. And we even had some who danced to some of the Irish tunes played....When night fell we lit the fire, and it added to the campground feeling.

When the local friends eventually took their leave, the family stayed outside singing and playing for another hour before meandering into the house, and all pitching in to clean up the food and dishes. Then, at about 11 PM, we gathered around the table in the dining room and played our family card game, GOOF. Our game was made more enjoyable by the addition of two new players. My friend and my daughter's husband were introduced to the game and the eight of us played until half past midnight.

Then, having forgotten to do so when all of the guests were present, I served Dad's birthday cake and we sang happy birthday (belated) to him. Around 1:30 AM, the house grew quiet as everyone made their way to bed. My friend and I stayed up until half past three watching video we had recorded of the event. And, we agreed, it was a most pleasant time.

On Sunday, after all of our guests had left we began the breakdown of the backyard campground/ party site. And as we watched the storm clouds brewing, we remarked how lucky we had been that mother nature had chosen to grant us a single beautiful day, sandwiched between two days of heavy thunder storms, in this, one of the rainiest Augusts I recall here in recent times...

Sometimes... sometimes... we just get lucky.

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