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Sunday, August 21, 2011

John's Bithday Get Away...For Me

John’s birthday party provided me with a destination for a get-away-trip in late July. The 4+ hour drive into this part of West-By-God Virginia is grueling, even the I64 part. But it is all worth it when you get here. John is one of those gregarious people that you like as soon as you meet him. He has an unbelievable portfolio of friends, many of whom came to his birthday party. Conversation was interesting and flowed easily. Good food. Good music.

As wonderful as it was, what falls before and after are my favorite parts. Like John's explanation for why this old slide sits next to the garden. He bought it for his daughter when she was little (20 years ago???) and it kept bouncing off the ground when she used it so he poured cement down the poles. It has stayed all these years. Now he will have to use a blow torch to break the posts off below gound in order to remove it. There is a reason for everything.

I like the getting’ ready part. I attended last year so I was a bit familiar with some of the things that have to be done in preparation of the party. Sweeping the decking. Watering the plants. Wiping off chairs.

So Gail, John and I got busy on Friday morning. Gail and I accomplished a lot, and we managed to work most of the afternoon on a project that had nothing to do with the party. I won't tell you what we did because even you will say "What?". We thought the project was worthy. I love the part when friends who are spending the night start to arrive. Mike and Donna arrived with our dinner for the evening and our breakfast for Saturday morning. Already we had a good start on the next day. Later that evening George-from-St.-Thomas arrived, which revived the night while we all got caught up.

Saturday started with Donna's amazing french toast dish. Fortified with caffeine and sugar, we got busy. My horoscope suggested that I needed my people around me and they would protect me from who knows what. So, Gail, Donna and I took the wooden raft out onto the pond. Princess Paula relaxed while we went off on a Tom Sawyer exploration of the pond, which gave us a very nice view of the back of the house. I felt so protected by my women people. They did all the work, I took the photos.

I am not sure what happened next, but I think it involved a long nap. There was also some porch sitting. There are several good spots for that.

At some point,Tim and Ann arrived and then the party happened. Next thing I knew, it was Sunday morning and John was making his sausage gravy and his homemade biscuits. Biscuit World’s got nothin’ on this boy. Sadly, we said our goodbyes to Mike and Donna and Tim and Ann. There was some cleaning up to do and another nap to take before John, Gail, George and I went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. How far did we drive to get there???? When you live this far out, nothing is close. It was worth the drive. On Monday, I was still living off that dinner when George and I went for a drive to see his old farm place. That took hours. You have not seen seclusion until you have visited George’s property. Back at the homestead, we learn that Gail has gotten stung and John is making dinner. Today (Monday) is actually his birthday. Afterward, Gail and I reclined on John’s “the best bed I ever laid on” bed to watch some TV. John and George joined us later to watch an old episode of Six Feet Under.

Now Tuesday is here. It is a good day for doing absolutely nothing but reading a good book. That is my plan. After a shower and another cup of coffee.

Tuesday: I spent the day napping and reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This is John's beach book so I will have to purchase it when I get back as there is not enough time to finish it.

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