The First Annual Bash officially ended at 10:25pm on Saturday night. (The first guests arrived at 1:43pm.) The final count was 31, including my husband and myself. No, not all of them were in the house at the same time.
The saga of the party actually begins the day before. I was awaiting two people: my friend Joy, with whom I was to spend a quiet evening doing last minute party prep, and Sue, the woman who does the art for our church newsletter (after I've done my editing work on the words). I heard a car door and ran to see which it was.
It wasn't either one. Instead, it was a friend we've known for many years, who shall remain nameless in this instance, because she was a day early. Somehow, she'd thought the Bash was happening Friday night. (I don't think she was thinking Friday, but you know how the days can run together. If you don't know, just wait. You will.) So here she came with a flower centerpiece and the other things she'd asked if I wanted her to bring.
I'd been looking forward to my quiet evening and I know I wasn't very friendly at the door. When I realized she hadn't dropped in (something I absolutely detest so make notes if you need to: Do NOT drop in on Michelle) but had the wrong day (an honest mistake) I swallowed my disappointment about the evening I'd had planned and changed tracks to a different pleasant evening doing things I hadn't planned. (If that makes any sense.)
She apologized profusely and tried to leave, but we (Harry was home) encouraged her to stay. Soon Joy arrived, too, and Harry opened a bottle of wine.
Not long after that, Sue came to get the newsletter, and she was offered a glass of wine, too. Can you see it? Harry and four women, chatting over a Merlot. (Or maybe it was a Cabernet, I'm not positive.)
That impromptu gathering went from about 7:30pm until 10:30pm on Friday. After everyone had left, as Harry and I got ready for bed, I realized that -- just like a wedding -- the Bash had had a rehearsal.
Saturday we scrambled to get those last minute things done (you know the ones: the things that pop up at the last minute or the things you remember you forgot). I picked up my niece, who was doing the food (she wants to be a caterer someday; don't tell her, but she already is -- if she realizes it, she'll charge me more). A few people cancelled. Cindy was one of them, due to her incredibly long day on Friday. She was missed, but the reason I single her out to tell you is because of what she said to me on the phone. She said, "I wanted to see the house. I wanted to see you. I wanted to see Harry. I wanted to see you and Harry at a party!" (She knows Harry and I quite well, having spent eight months living here once upon a time.)
When people started arriving, the work was done, whether it was really done or not, and it was time to enjoy the house. The pool table was in use all day. The games around the house (Chinese checkers, an old marble labyrinth, a jigsaw puzzle, and a couple others) were in use periodically. A lot of food disappeared, and people seemed to be enjoying themselves.
It was a unique and awe-inspiring realization.
I forgot a lot of things. I forgot to remove those irritating little bubbles that accumulate on the inside of the aquarium. I meant to take the protective covers off the smoke detectors, as a sort of house christening. I had pieces of that old icky pink tile for door prizes. I had things in mind in the morning that never came back to me during the day. Are all parties like that?
The only real drawback was the heat: I'm not sure how hot it got outside, but the hallway in HexHouse reached 84 and I'm sure it was hotter in the Fox Room. Our air conditioner cannot cope with the added space and I'm on the list for the a/c guys to come see what I need to do to fix that. Next year's Bash will be in October, so it's cooler (we'll be able to use the deck) and so Harry can participate more fully. (October is his month off.)
Oh yes, and while the individual moments of the day are somewhat blurry, I think I agreed to host Christmas here. What was I thinking?
Copyright 2014 Michelle Hakala