Sunday, July 20, 2008

I'm Party-Pooped

A week of successful partying has come to an end. I survived four gatherings in five days, three of which were held here, and everything went as planned. Well, there was the occasional minor glitch - a river of water rushing through my basement and under the newly-finished laminate floor on Friday afternoon, a near divorce from my husband (don't worry - it was a mutual thing), and about six thousand flies that decided to take up residence in my house and wake us all too early this morning by buzzing our heads come sunrise - but all-in-all it was a delightful time.

Note to self: Never, ever, have four parties in five days ever again. Amen.

The thing that's great about entertaining is having all the big jobs done all at the same time. I do clean my basement once in a while. I do weed the garden and flower beds (some more than others, I found out the hard way). I do clean the shed and brush the spiders off the ceiling and walls of the garage and mow the lawn and scrub lawn chairs and sort yard game equipment and do laundry and clean the house from top to bottom and mow the ditches along the roadside (wait - I never do that) and make flower arrangements and... and... where was I?!? I just never have all those jobs done at the same time. It's exhausting, and yet nothing but a slew of parties (or even just one big yard party) would ever inspire me to work that hard in a matter of days. In between gift wrapping and playing bean-bag games in the yard with Jonathan, I'd haul out party decorations or serving platters. In between driving the boys to practices and track meets, I'd weed one more flower bed. I've never slept so little and gotten so much accomplished in one week. The woodpile never did get cleaned up and stacked, and the former chicken coop would've made a great playhouse for the kids had I gotten it cleaned out and sanitized, but those jobs'll just have to wait for something bigger like a graduation party or engagement party or baby shower, not that I'm wishing for those events to come any sooner than necessary.

This morning, trained by the week's rigorous schedule, I rose early. But this time, rather than donning garden gloves or work boots or a bucket of bathroom cleaning supplies, I made a pot of coffee, sliced some homemade cherry pie, and took pie and coffee to everyone in their beds, in celebration of a day of rest.

Miraculously, the weather held out for our party yesterday. It rained all night long Friday night, causing me to wake up every hour and mumble, "Well, there goes our party." But it stopped by Saturday morning. I hung my deck cushions on the line to dry (oops) and started obsessing over the weather satellite radar on a slick website I found. Every time a pregnant-looking cloud passed over, I politely asked it to hang on to its bounty and pass on by. And they did. We sent an email - "Party's ON, baby!" - and continued with our prep.

The party started at 3:00 and by 2:00, my living room was in order...

And my dining area was ready to receive dishes to pass... The garden was weeded (well, mostly) and the lawn was mowed...And the deck had been pimped out with flowers and candles and some stolen borrowed seating...And the yard was adorned with tables and canopies...And even though I'm sure I could've found something else to dust, vacuum, scrub, or fill....I spent a good long time gathering flowers for jars. I have to entertain in July because that's when my flower beds are all bursting with color. If I time it just right, I have lilies and larkspur, black-eyed susans and coneflowers, oregano and bachelor's buttons, cleomi and even bleeding hearts. And I had to look up the name 'bleeding hearts' on my recently-foraged ziploc of seeds because I'm so darn tired my brain isn't firing properly.Everything was set. I could rest and await guests. And I went into the kitchen to get a glass of sun tea and found this: And then I breathed into a paper bag for a while and gnashed my teeth. And then I asked the boys to please clean up their mess. And then I made homemade salsa. And then I looked for the tortilla chips to set out and found the boys had eaten them. All of them. For lunch. And then I breathed into another paper bag. And then I remembered that it's no big deal and I got over myself.

And, finally, after Jonathan paced the end of the driveway for 2 straight hours, the guests began to arrive. But when, two hours into the party, only 7 people of an expected 60 had arrived, I started force-feeding Italian beef sandwiches to those poor 7, wondering if people had forgotten about our party or were simply taking "fashionably late" to the extreme. But by 5:00 people were rolling in one after another and I slapped the hands of the original 7 and told them to save some food for the others, for Pete's sake. Not really. And who's Pete anyway?
That's Brady's new grrrl, by the way. Lovely Carissa, with the lovely Emily beside her. And Carissa is the new-old grrlfriend. This is take-2 of their blossoming relationship. Carissa's mom (and Emily's too) is one of my best friends, so we're fine with any possible marriage in the future. The FAR future, I mean! Ahem.

We had 3 acts for Open Mic. Sisters Carissa and Maria sang a lovely duet about peace...

Mother and son duo, Sonia and Colin, sang a hilarious politically-charged song about SUVs.... And Jonathan and Colin did some improv based upon topics called out by the audience.

And then it was time for JUST MAYBE. They played well despite the occasional feedback that screamed from the new PA system. There were no sound engineers, amateur or otherwise, in the crowd, so we all ignored the feedback, enjoyed the music, and tended to our bleeding eardrums later.

A yard full of good friends is a wonderful thing.

And maybe, JUST MAYBE, we'll do it all again next summer.


KMDuff said...

Your yard is gorgeous. Glad you survived. :)

Kez said...

Put your feet up and relax - you deserve it!!

So glad it went well. We always say that we should have a big party about every 3 months so the place always looks good :) Thank goodness we never do though!

denise said...

Looks like a great party. Awesome to be surrounded by so many friends. Your yard and deck look awesome! So much space and the flowers are lovely. :)

Kez said...

Just replying to your comment on my blog wondering how I found you - ummmm, not sure, but I suspect via whimsigal's blog.. I tend to wander from blog to blog when they interest me :)

We're eclectic homeschoolers with a big part of that being natural learning / unschooling.

Sandy Feet said...

This is all good food for thought as I prepare for some family gatherings/parties in the coming weeks. Can you come help me??

EC said...

Well, I'm really glad to see that you made it through!!!