One or two summers after M and I bought the house and property here at Breezy Acres, we decided to host an annual Party By The Pond. We would have it around the time of the summer solstice, thinking of making it a tradition with a date that was easy to remember.
It was a fairly big event in which we invited everyone we know, near and far, friends, family, and acquaintances. Bring the kids, bring the family, bring guests if you want (and people frequently did, especially those who had family or friends visiting with them at the time of the party). We would get a pretty good turnout of about 50-75 people.
Getting ready for the party was a great deal of work. We’d start a few weeks before the party by working around the pond, cleaning up the boats, finding the equipment for the games (volleyball, badminton, bocce ball), checking out the kites and string, and a long list of other things indoors and out.
We also had to come up with main dishes for the party since we provided the entrées and beverages, asking people to bring side dishes and/or desserts. We never assigned the side dishes or desserts. Somehow it all worked out with a good balance of both.
The main dishes could be tricky. There were people who were meat eaters but they didn’t eat pork. Others who were meat eaters who didn’t eat beef. Vegetarians. Vegans. And just plain picky eaters. Since it was an outdoor party, we wanted outdoor dishes. Something grilled or barbecued.
Even with all the work and planning and pre-party stress, it was fun. Party day was, of course, the most fun of all because after a while I could sit back, relax, and watch people enjoying themselves as they ate, rowed or pedaled around the pond, played a few games of volleyball, and talked and laughed with each other.
We haven’t had the Party By The Pond for the past two years or so. Last summer was filled with our youngest son’s wedding and trips and all sorts of activities. This year we have been in the midst of Project Patio and the backyard is a construction zone, not conducive to safe and fun partying.
Every year since my first summer blogging, I get a number of people showing up at the blog who use the search term “Party By The Pond.” They start to show up in April or May and the searches continue through August. I never know if they are searching for our Party By The Pond or if someone else out there is throwing their own Party By The Pond.
Just in case the Party By The Pond folks are searching for the one at Breezy Acres here in the Bogs, I thought I should let you know that we didn’t have it this year. No need to worry that you weren’t invited or your invitation got lost.
I’ve been thinking that next year might (maybe, perhaps) be a good time to bring back the Party By The Pond tradition. I can’t make any promises because there is no way of knowing for sure where we’ll be or what we’ll be doing when the solstice rolls around in 2011. But go ahead and pencil us in around that time, the Saturday before or after the summer solstice, if you’d like to be here for it. You’ll need to bring your bathing suit if you want to swim or your fishing rod if you want to fish. We could always use lawn chairs, too.
Plan on bringing a side dish or dessert. Your choice. I’ll let you know what the entrées will be when we’ve made all of those decisions, just in case you want to make something that goes with or compliments the main dishes. It’s not necessary, of course, but some people like to do that sort of thing. I’ve always enjoyed the hodgepodge of dishes and desserts that grace our tables at this party so feel free to make whatever you want.