Sunday, August 2, 2009
I was just telling Mike on Friday night that I missed the days of our younger years where we would spend summer weekend evenings getting together with family friends. The parents would all sit around the back porch or deck (depending on whose house we were at) and talk while the kids ran around the yard or hung out in the house.
We had two groups of people we would spend time with in this way. A group of families from church and a group of neighbors. On those nights, no matter what was waiting for us in the stack of bills, the piles of laundry or on the to do list, it was very easy to say "Life is good."
Then, for a variety of reasons from people moving away to kids getting older and being involved in activities that required parents to play chauffeur, these weekend gatherings seemed to happen less and less. I'm not sure I noticed right away, but eventually I realized that I missed them.
Last night I got a wonderful dose of old times when our next door neighbors (the P's) invited us to come over for dinner with them and another family who used to live on our street (the T's). The T's are moving back to town after a 3-year stint in Las Vegas. They've recently bought a house in a different neighborhood, but one close enough that we can all get together for dinner again.
Just like old times, the grownups sat in the P's screened in porch and enjoyed Mr. P's great cooking and Mrs. P's mastery of the cooler. Mike resurrected his role as "mayor," a title Mrs. P long ago bestowed on him, and played to the crowd. And Mr. and Mrs. T went through the pros and cons of having her mother move close to (in with?) them.
And if you didn't believe me about what a mess our house is, Mr. P recounted a story that their daughter Megan told him recently. She was helping Annie pick up our family room when she grabbed a blanket to fold. When she lift the crumpled blanket from the floor, a piece of cold pizza fell out of it (remnants of a "pizza picnic" in front of a movie, no doubt)! Nice...
Anyway, after dinner the kids flipped around on the swingset and played baseball and cornhole and whack-a-friend-with-a-pool-noodle, eventually winding up inside watching the Disney Channel when it was too dark to be outside anymore. It was almost 10pm when we finally wandered back home and put our sweaty, dirty-with-the-outdoors kids to bed.
It was a great night. Good food, good friends, good life.