Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This weekend has been pretty hectic for us.  The hubster and I are used to our little routine of going to bed around 8 and getting up early.  We rarely have company, and we are getting used to a new dog.

Our friends, The Webbs, or the Webbarooskis, came to visit from Arizona.  They lived three doors down for quite a few years and were our closest friends.  When they visit Illinois they come to the Faerber Arms, as they call our upstairs.  This time, however, with the new very shy dog, the Webbs stayed across the street at another friend’s home.  Their son and his wife came along for the trip.

The four Webbs and Joe Clark came to the house at about the same time.  Little Emmie dog was scared to death.  Everyone, especially Ellie and Katie, wanted to pet the dog but she growled and hid beside me.  She finally calmed down but no one got to pet her.  We visited for a while and then decided to go to the beach for a while.  We all left Emmie and the hubster alone.

When we got back from the beach, the hubster said Emmie came right to him for pets and laid down at his feet to sleep.  I guess after all the strangers, he was at least familiar to the new dog and, after a week, she finally took to him.

We had dinner at the new restaurant in Durand and it was delicious.  There were twelve of us friends there at the table and I was in friend heaven.  I’ve got some photos on my phone, I should try and retrieve them.

We all went to breakfast the mornings of Sunday and Monday.  We used to go to breakfast every Sunday with these folks.  We called it our church time since we discussed everything from politics to religion to child rearing.

We held our White Family Reunion on the 4th of July this year.  We usually do our reunion when the Webbs are here and we are all together, and it is time to get together and catch up.  We held our first reunion many, many years ago when Rockford had its first Black Family Reunion.  We figured, they can do it, we can do it.  It’s not that we are prejudiced or anything, it’s just that most of us are Caucasian and not really ashamed that we are.

We are just a group of friends that have been very close for over twenty five years and we do like getting together and enjoying some jocularity.  We have played in a band together, had an organized social club twice, been through some very hard times, and most of us have survived and feel like celebrating that fact.  We have seen each other’s children grown up, known death up close and personal, watched heartbreaking divorces and came through still loving each other.  These folks are my family and I dearly love them all.

Naomi opened the celebration with a lovely flag themed seven layer dip that kicked ass.  I got the remains in my fridge and plan to have a bite later before I wash her bowl and take it back to her.  She and Mark stayed a while but decided their Harleys were calling too loudly not to answer and off they rode.

The four Webbs played a round of corn hole.  What is that game really called?  Well Jeff and his partner, I’m not sure which, won and, being Jeff, he had to rub it in and stroll around the crowd making sure everyone knew he won.

I had to run home and gather my casserole from the oven and pick up the hubster who had to take a shower before the party.  He didn’t even wear his swim trunks.  I’m not sure anyone went swimming in the lake.  It was cloudy and actually kind of cool that day.  I picked up a photo album that I had put together of a bunch of old pictures of the White family.  We all got a kick out of looking at old pictures of each other.

Mike Kelly arrived on his bicycle and we all thought he had ridden from Freeport but he had parked at the swimming pool up the hill and cruised his bike to the beach to avoid the parking.  (The parking was ridiculous!  We need a parking lot at beach two.)

Kevin and Laurie made it and we were all so glad.  Kevin is doing chemo right now and looks very fragile.  He is such a trooper though and said he wanted to see all of us.  Laurie made banana pudding and it was eaten up in a rush.  Mike Kelly and Nancy even ate it off the serving spoon.  That is how close we are.

I got my White Family Reunion group photo and afterwards notice the Webbs weren’t in it.  I had to do a retake later when they returned.

Mike and Mike played a little guitar and Joe Clark had to leave early.  Jeff cooked brats and hot dogs.  The hubster showed him a little trick of cutting the dogs in a spiral and they cooked up a lot nicer.  The hubster had swollen ankles and did not stand a lot.   He is usually the grill master.

I had to go home and check on the new dog and she was just fine.  The beach is only five minutes away from the house.

The beach was crowded with people cooking, playing, swimming and generally having a very good time.  The air was static with happiness and most of it was mine.  I looked within my gaze and most of my favorite people in the world were right here by me.  I am so very blessed.

I will explain.  I really am not a people person any more.  I like possibly 10 percent of the people I have met and have known.  And for me to be so very blessed with most of that 10 percent in front of me was euphoric to me.

We were winding down and I started cleaning up stuff so I could pack my things into the truck as I went.  We wanted to get home to Emmie just in case she didn’t like fireworks and would be afraid.  I had to take most of the leftovers and any left casserole dishes.  I will probably gain two pounds today getting rid of this little tidbit and that little leftover bite.

Another reunion has passed and all is well.  I have had my friend fix for the next while.  I just pray the next time we meet is just as happy as the fourth of July White Family Reunion had been.

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