Friday, July 13, 2012
Open for Business
My reaction startled me: “Ok. How about a cook-out that afternoon?” Game on.
Maggie and I used to throw parties. (I should probably be clear about this: Mostly it was HER parties. I was just a happy helper - a very busy happy helper.) There were big parties and bigger parties, but there were no small parties. She loved to entertain and so we did. This house was designed for parties and rarely did a month or two pass without a crowd getting their fun on in the living room. Those were heady days.
To all good things, an end must come. Or does life just transform into something different?
Apparently I was standing, perched, ready to pounce when my friend asked about the 4th of July party. I didn’t realize that. I certainly would not have suggested it. But with just a little push, I sprang happily to action performing the tasks I knew all too well to produce a great party.
But this time was different. In fact, this would be the very first real party in this big house since the last official (yet anemic) wine party in December 2009. My right-hand woman wasn’t there by my side directing, educating, and socializing. But, you know what? It was ok. It was more work because, well, it was just one person whereas before it was two. But it was ok. And by work I mean I had several years of entropy to tidy up before I could even begin to do those things that get the house in shape for a good party. And some of that plaque scraping was a little tough, as you can imagine.
That day, with the party in full swing, thirty or so good friends ate hamburgers and drank beer and played with dogs. Kids painted windows with greasy fingerprints while the dogs cleaned up any food droppings. And someone (or a few mischievous someones) fed Kali, my curious-but-dumb puppy beer*. It was a full-on party. The house was busy with happy people, smells of good food, and good fun. Things were like they were meant to be. Again… But it was different.
* Before anyone gets freaked out about the care and safety of my pampered and spoiled dogs, it’s fairly likely she found her own beer from all the orphaned glasses of vino and beer. That girl finds all the trouble you didn’t even know was there. Seriously. She's like a two year old with a 6 inch tongue and a nose for danger. That said, I won't rule out the mischievousness of my friends.
One of my guests, a wise been-there widow who is the mother of one of Maggie’s classmates from Baylor, pulled me aside during the hustle and bustle and said, “This is a great day. You have sent the signal people have been waiting for. You are sending a message that you are open for business again. From here, everything will change.”
July 4th, 1776 we as Americans declared our independence from an oppressive British rule under King George III. On July 4, 2012, I declared myself open for business. I’ll never be “independent” from Maggie nor do I ever want to be, but to be open for business again, I’ll take that. Let the parties begin again.