I sent a feeler out to see if we should plan a neighborhood party for Memorial Day. As a group, we do not commit to anything until the last minute. In the meantime, John’s train buddies asked if he would meet them in Tennessee to work on a section of track. He was over there for three days. I was not going to push a party with our porch in such a mess. Yellow pollen was still accumulating, and there was no way I could clean it and think about cooking. By Sunday evening, I thought the lunch was not going to happen, that is, until I was going to bed. One household was definitely coming, so the party was on.
I sent the “formal” invitations via text at 7:30 on the day of the gathering..
Yes! Last minute! Let’s party!
We’ll be ready at noon. Eat at 1:00. There is no time to prepare, so if you have any food you’d like to share, bring it. If not, just come. If we had rules, it would be against them to make a special trip to buy things.
If possible, please let us know by noon if you are coming.
I knew there would be six of us, so I threw a menu together in my head. The next morning, after showering, I leaned against my antique bed, and it fell apart on my toe. Hearing the racket, John rushed into the room.
“Are you OK?” he asked.
“Do you want me to get ice for you?”
I moaned, “Can’t talk.”
“Are you able to walk?,” he asked.
“What can I do for you?” he asked.
With clenched teeth, I said, “Can’t talk. Just let me hurt for a while.”
He laughed at that, and I joined him. John called grandson David from the other side of the house, and they put the very heavy slats back in the frame. I hobbled into the kitchen for ice from the broken ice-maker, and found walking made the toe feel better. As I pulled open the freezer door, a plastic bowl of cooked chicken fell on the smashed toe. It hurt already, so what was a little more?
I’m happy to report that 11 of us enjoyed hamburgers, chicken sausages, hot dogs, chicken and rice, homemade dill pickles, watermelon, Jell-o, peach cobbler, and a homemade cake with whipped cream topped with blueberries and strawberries. We would also have had baked beans if I had remembered to take them off the stove. I told people what they missed, but I didn’t offer to pour beans over the patriotic cake.
Before the party started, John picked up neighbor Logan’s feet to make him a human wheelbarrow.
I said, “The wheelbarrow has gone flat. Get Logan to pump up that tire.”
David and Logan ate with us before they disappeared inside. I didn’t ask all that they did, but I saw them playing checkers and computer games. In the middle of the party I looked for some tiny airplanes we bought months ago. I hid them so well that I couldn’t find them. Logan stayed on after the adults left, and I finally found the little planes. Logan dutifully posed for me.
I got a shot of the two fellows as they played. The airplanes were not very air-worthy.
The weather was miserable – cold and rainy – but we felt warm neighbors redeemed the day.