last night our next door neighbors tom & bill (not their real names. all the names in this post have been changed.) threw a going-away party for our neighbors, mary & joe (one house over) who have lost their home to foreclosure. shit happens & this post is not about the whys or wherefores of mary & joe’s financial management capabilities. all we know (or care about) is that they’ve been wonderful neighbors over a decade of living in our community.
the evening started out on the patio accompanied the tinkling music of the fountain & the setting sun. as the beer & wine began to ease conversation, the 9 of us gathered around the table & shared stories about our day/week/month/job/or lack thereof/the crazy neighbors/the noisy neighbors/the messy neighbors & how we’re suddenly the ‘old’ people in the community as many of those who came before us have either died or moved into ‘assisted living’ facilities (which was also a topic of conversation.)
as usual with summer in southern california there was a mash-up of patterns (plaid & stripes & florals, both hawaiian & mainland) without much to-do (it’s been my experience that they invariably sort themselves out.)
the table was beautifully set, sparkling & shimmering with candlelight & silver & shiny ceramics & the scent of roses & decanted wine filled the air. the pitcher of lemon water sweated sweetly on its trivet as we juggled & giggled our way into our chairs.
there was no need to talk about the elephant in the room (not the republican elephant, although we did discuss politics — surprisingly not everyone is a bleeding heart liberal in our group, but everyone was respectful of the opinions of others & if we didn’t completely convert those on the right, we at least all agreed that government should help those who need it most; the indigent, the poor, & those whose disabilities inhibit their independence.)
bill, one of our hosts, hails from the eastern seaboard & illustrates his conversation with a bevy of gesturing that not only emphasizing the point he is makng, but also is extremely entertaining. if you comment on it, he’ll just say, “what?”