Monday, June 25, 2007

Gratuitous postcard: winding down from a wild weekend

Postcard: Family gathering

For those who hadn't read my column*, last Friday, I must mention that yesterday was the 50th anniversary of my parents' wedding.

The Happy Couple

We had a big ol' picnic, invited as many relatives as we could find addresses to, as well as having some of the family's best friends (hey, they're extended family, too).

Mom and I did the legwork, while my sisters pretty much footed the bill, and as a result, we had some very good food in a very nice location with some truly wonderful people (why they're still friendly with all of us is a mystery. We don't have much in the way of an estate, or inheritances).

At any rate, we learned something very interesting, this week: our local college caterers don't provide tables. Even though the head of the service asked us, "what kind of tables do you want -- round or rectangular/banquet?" it seems that, what she was asking was, "What kind of tables will you be getting from the rental company, so we can provide the appropriate linens?"

We didn't learn of this miscommunication until 90 minutes before the crowd was supposed to start coming for the food.

Fortunately, the host (in whose garden we were gathering) and my sisters were quick-thinking and managed to collect a few card and picnic tables, bunches of chairs, and a few other necessities from the neighborhood, and my friend Mari finagled three nice banquet tables Mari sets up a table and a bunch of nice folding chairs from our mutual friend Janet, so we had enough seating for everybody, with five minutes to spare.

The food, by the way, was truly delicious. I had heard from others that the college food service had a good chef or two, and I now believe it. So, apparently, does everybody who stood in line, yesterday.
Food Line

Also perfect was the setting: Bill Urban offered up his garden, Bill U. In His Element
we rented a big tent, and the weather turned out cloudy enough to keep the temperature very comfy for everybody, with a pleasant breeze sufficient to carry the smell of the roses throughout the crowds.

By mid-afternoon, everybody had pretty much had a chance to become acquainted or reacquainted, and a few people started showing traces of wear around the edges, Briefly overwhelmed but most of us caught our second wind, and lasted until at least dark.

As the final stages of the festivities rolled around, we had a chance for a few silly group shots -- every camera was whipped out, as the immediate six were assembled for the first time in more than a decade:
All Six

And then my generation of kids -- from the nuttier side of the family -- stood together with straight faces (yeah, right!)The Next Generation

The family all pitched in with cleanup (we sent the caterers home until this morning, since all we needed was to have trays of noshes left on the buffet table, and we could handle serving that). We had a few leftovers, and found innovative ways to redistribute them (nothing like a barbecue breakfast sammidge!).

All in all, the picnic went as smoothly as a wedding (egad!), so we all decided it was a success as an anniversary celebration.

Most of the family -- extended parts, that is -- have gone home already, after having filled up on laughs and good food at the anniversary party. We who remain today are winding down a little.

I ache terribly from all the laughing I did this past two days. We'll have to do this again, sometime. With somebody else organizing it.

*which the editors of the Daily Review Atlas very kindly print each week, at no cost to me.


lisa said...

What a lovely time for your family. Happy Anniversary to your mom and dad!

leucanthemum b said...

Thank you. I'll pass on your kind message.