Planning and executing a celebration
We are having a Fourth of July fete.
Actually none of the fete will be on the Fourth, but it will occur close to the Fourth so, I’m calling it a Fourth of July get together.
I have to call it something. I have been planning this for weeks and so has my sister who is coming with her husband. My niece and her family will be joining us as will my sister-in-law. My children, a spouse and a significant other as well as two grandchildren will be there too. At last count, 12. Which is not a lot, but does pose some problems.
If I count the couch, we can sleep seven people.
Did I mention that we are expecting 12?
OK, we do have the roll away that I bought when I had my hip fixed, so that would bring the number of sleep-ins to eight.
With some motel and home going, we will all get some place to lay our heads. I should think seriously about getting a bunk house for such occasions. ‘
But then, because we only have a holding tank for the effluent…people with septic systems know of which I speak.
Then there is the food thing.
My generous sister has trolled the aisles of the Costco in Danbury, CT where she and her spouse know all of the employees by name.
They have purchased enough food to feed the sixth fleet. All in gargantuan sizes.
My sister has spent days cooking things. Cakes, pickled beets, macaroni salad…as if Costco wasn’t enough. My sister in law is bringing her famous ricotta cheese cookies, a salad and breakfast food. ‘
My niece is bringing fruit and my daughter is bringing hummus and veggies. My son is bringing his girlfriend. I’ve bought sausages of varying lineages, corn, have a bag of salt potatoes at the ready, made peppers and onions and ordered a cake from Wegmans.
We have a gigantic glass container to dispense lemonade, the bottom shelf of the fridge jammed with soft drinks and adult beverages. There is more, but my fingers just won’t type it all. All of this for two and a half days and 12 people. I have to remember to buy some bags of ice.
We are all assembling at our very small cottage in Borodino where there is an appropriately sized refrigerator.
Basically, it’s small.
I have no idea where I am going to stash the perishables. I do think that Joanie, that’s my sister, will be bringing coolers. But this cottage is a small place. Small rooms, small decks and miniscule beach — or what you might call a beach if you had to pick a noun to describe it. Maybe someone could put the coolers together to make a bed?
Several weeks ago, my youngest grandson told me that the cottage was small. He is six.
What will older and more- accustomed- to- space adults think? Yes, we can divide up inside and out for breathing room on the porch and the decks, but what if it rains? What if it is cold? I’ve spent Fourth of July celebrations wearing a jacket. Will I have to build a fire in the stove? Did I remember to get wood, just in case?
I have a fear of a less than spontaneous occasion. Will we have to line up just to say hello?
And, oh, yes. I know that there are food proscriptions among our guests. There are those that don’t eat gluten, those that have vowed never to eat sugar or consume alcohol, a vegan and several who think that two grapes and a small potato is a filling meal.
I have visions of a people with pained, frustrated hungry faces while I wonder what to do with all of the left-overs.
UPDATE: July 6, 2017: Everyone arrived. Everyone ate something. My ever prepared sister and her husband Bert brought all kinds of activities for the kids. It was a bit crowded but we had a good time even when it rained so hard that the canopy we rigged on the upper deck in case it rained was blown over and damaged. The sun came out. We went out in the boat, talked, sang a little, ate a lot — I am afraid to go to my next Weight Watchers meeting — took pictures and had a great time.
All that angst for nothing, well, I still don’t know what to do with the left overs.
We have eaten a lot of salt potatoes in various forms in the last few days and dinner has consisted of left over sausages, salads and corn.
I am still seriously thinking of a bunk house. And, we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, a triumph of stubbornness over most everything else.
Maybe a larger holding tank?