Tonight we hosted our fifth party in the month of August.
(Yes, I, too, am dazed and amazed. Possibly more on the dazed side...)
Anyway, tonite's party was long-awaited. A decade in the making. We moved into our home 10 years ago. And we have never once invited a neighbor in or been invited into a neighbor's home. Oh, believe me, they are all VERY kind --- they wave from their driveways, they wave from their cars, they may even pause watering the lawn and briefly chat if we're out for a walk. But never anything more.
I have long wished to host a neighborhood backyard party. All summer I debated about dates, timing, weather, whether to go through with it or not. Now, keep in mind, we live in a pretty elderly area. No propositions to increase taxes for school initiatives ever pass in our neck of the woods. I'm just sayin.' My husband jokes that the 'hood looks the same on Tuesday as it does on Saturday --- meaning, when you're retired (or a stay-at-home mom!), all the days are really just a little bit more of the same. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
We have "The Wavers" --- a group of old guys who sit out on their driveway and wave at passersby. All day. Morning. Noontime. Evening. They're sitting out on that driveway in their lawn chairs, enjoying their refreshment of choice in a handy little drink cozy, waving at the rest of the world as it goes about its day. Eventually, I'm sure they retire to their respective houses, but they are fixtures. Neighborhood icons.
And then "The Nosies." They know everything about everybody. They walk the streets every morning. Together. Unless her hip is bothering her. And then he'll go it alone.
And "The Sugar Plum Fairy.' She arrives each Easter morning like clockwork - as good as the Easter bunny - with a plate chock-full of a cake shaped like a lamb and dolled up with homemade 7-minute frosting ... or most recently enormous batches of cupcakes complete with sprinkles on top because the cake mold broke a few years back. (Pookie LOVES Sugar Plum Fairy!)
I finally stopped tinkering my toes at the edge of the pond and dove into the water headfirst. I handwrote invitations to all the neighbors. And as we walked our new puppies Obi and Luke (who can bring people out of their homes faster than a wagon full of four sweet kids and their two cute puppies??), we hand delivered each note to the respective address and neighbor.
So, the house has NEVER been so clean. Seriously. The whole place rivals the closet, now. It's amazing how fast I can work, really. And I make a mean shrimp appetizer and chip/dip combo. And my man can grill up some tasty grub!
And the party?
The party was excellent. Two neighbors who have lived in their homes for 36 years and for 24 years respectively had never officially met before this party! My husband and I both agree, we would feel welcomed into our neighbors' homes now. Not like, if we were knocking on their doors, they would be peering out the peep hole wondering "What do they want?"