Some people have lots and lots of friends.
Some people have friends because they live on parade routes. Others have friends because they are handy with small motors and irrigation systems. Still others have friends because once a year they throw the most amazing party in the entire known universe.
I am friends with those people. Finally.
For years we were "acquaintances", which means we knew about the party but never were invited. Not true, we were always invited, but usually right after it happened ("hey, you should have come!").
Have you read about those people in Manhattan who try to get their kids into the Right Preschool so they can hobnob with the other parents? That's what we did - minus the half-million dollar donation to a preschool to guarantee admission.
That's right, we got our kids to be friends with their kids, et voilà!
But enough about our methodology.
The party was today. There were three bands. There was food. There were chickens. There was a grill, with some cooked items languishing next to it. No one was paying any attention to the grill, the burgers, the Portuguese sausage or the whatever else was there.
Because someone showed up with a 75 pound freshly caught tuna.
I had flashbacks of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, watching the men-folk reduce the tuna to a pile of steaks. The fish had been out of the water for 2 hours when it arrived. It was a little like the tales of cows being stripped to the bone in under 5 minutes by piranhas. Except the tuna got a car ride.
And my question is, WHO has a table that is perfect for cleaning and parceling a 75 pound tuna on, just sitting around in case of such an emergency? Who? People with large boats in their yard.
We, on the other hand, feel proud to have an oyster shucking knife.
And it has just occurred to me that we are not friends because of our kids. It is because I managed to keep those blessed sunflowers alive. It was so worth taking them to DC with us.
I haven't been to their house in a couple weeks, and it's just amazing what can happen to a garden in a couple weeks. We all know what can happen to MY garden in a couple weeks, but a garden that's been planned and cared for by a trained professional does amazing things in a couple weeks. It was this gorgeous sanctuary, tucked away not far from the heart of The Big City.
I have perennial garden envy. Perennially.
The other notable thing is that I generally feel awkward at parties. I love them, mind you, but still feel awkward and shy. But in this place I feel so at home that it's almost not like being at a party. There are times when friends feel like an extension of oneself. Clever and talented extensions.
Like many annual parties, this one has changed over the years - first with the addition of Sarah (most likely improving the food selection) and then with the addition of their two kids and their kids' friends. It now starts at 3 in the afternoon. Those of us with kids stayed past bedtime, and even past dark. When it got dark it got a little trickier tracking them (short legs run the fastest) and we decided it was time to go. You know it's been a good party when no one complains on the way to the car.
And there were fireflies.