Over Labor Day weekend, we were invited and happily accepted invitations to two holiday picnics. Now you might not find that out of the ordinary, but we are up in years and as seniors don't expect to be included in the activities of the young and energetic.
Yet, our nephew, Brian, and his lovely wife, Monica, made sure that we were very much included and wanted at their Saturday get-together. There were people of all ages and personalities and, if someone hadn't met before, by the end of the afternoon they'd made new friends. Even though the weather was somewhat gloomy, folks sitting under the porch were gleefully engaged. Both the young and the old had stories to tell, and each group was thoroughly interested in what their counterparts had to say. We joked, teased, and yes, even enlightened one another over the course of an hour or so.
We couldn't play outdoor games due to the persistent rain, but that didn't stop us from coming up with some of our own. Shannon, a 10 year old, Brenna, going on 12, and myself, soon to be 73, hid on the cellar steps, and through a cat door leading to the kitchen, grabbed the legs of people passing by startling the poor souls, and causing us to giggle ourselves silly! Some of the men were couched in the living room watching college football. They didn't seem to mind the youngsters scooting by the t.v. or one of us popping in to snap a few pics of them in their usual game day spots.
There was enough food to feed a large army, and take-out containers were provided so that everyone could pack up left-overs to enjoy later on. I think that was a super idea, and kind of extended the picnic well beyond our actual time spent in Brian's and Monica's welcoming home!
The crowd sang happy birthday to Kat, turning 4, and to me, turning 73 on the same day, September 9, but Not the same year! We both got to make a wish and blow out our own candles. That to me was symbolic of the spirit of this picnic: respect, acceptance, and love for everybody no matter the age or ability of the invitees to contribute to a holiday celebration. If only our world could be so inclusive...
Around 2:00 on Sunday, Ben and Delcie, our new neighbors, had their tent pitched, tables and chairs in place, chips, fruit and coolers filled with all types of beverages at the ready, eagerly awaiting all picnic-goers to arrive. As each car pulled in, folks made their way up the driveway proudly carrying trays of food to delight the preferences of even the most discerning taste buds. Although there were no youngsters in attendance at this holiday celebration, two dogs managed to provide entertainment as only four-legged creatures can. Oddly enough, one was a 15 year old mutt, the other a spry 6 year old pup who seemed to get along famously.
Again, the mixture of young adults with those of us more mature in years added to the fun rather than casting a pall over the get-together. We all truly enjoyed each other's company, listening to funny stories that included frying whole fish and eating their eyeballs which is customary in Venezuela, engaging in heated corn hole competitions to dethrone Barbie, Ben's mom, and once again, meeting strangers who instantly became friends when sharing food and good company.
As a chill filled the air, Ben started a fire in the pit further on up the hill, and very soon we were all gathered around it to keep warm, not wanting this wonderful picnic to be over just yet. Conversations centered around unusual names, starting with Delcie who was a moniker for toilet paper way back when although spelled differently, to what kind of names the young marrieds would be eventually choosing for their future brood of babies. Hazel, Myrtle, Tekla were only a few of the possibilities offered by both sides of the age spectrum, either because of family connections or past encounters. Thankfully none of these was a real consideration for any of the couples. I'm hoping that Flo might make it on somebody's priority list, but I know that would be a long shot for sure!
As we prepared to depart, hugs and kisses were exchanged, and as we walked to our house the feeling of being wanted and appreciated again washed over me, infusing my heart and soul with positive energy that confirms my belief that people of all ages, cultures, and race can indeed live together in peace and harmony, sharing laughter and love at every turn.
LUCKY, LUCKY US!