If you're not exactly certain as to what this is... allow me to explain.
We grew up on the east coast in a little town that grew up near a river. That said river is a fairly important one for fly-fishing. Smart and I are offical Professional Fly Fishing Guides. Years ago our parents ran an outfitting business for fly-fishing. We probably should have gotten paid more, but I guess that's what you get for working with family. I couple of years ago I got to manage an outdoor expedition lodge - I took people kayaking and canoeing, fishing and hiking. They were good years.
But back to the craze of kitchen parties. These are common in our neck of the woods. Last night was my very first date with PC and he took me to one at his family's compound. And when I say compound, I mean that we turned off the main highway and continued taking lefts until we came to the place where they named the roads after the people that lived there. And what a good time! It was his uncles 65th birthday party and the house was full. Food overflowed tables, everyone was related somehow, somewhere and they knew who I was by association. Where we went to was in the area of where my mom grew up. One of PC's uncles came up to me and said "You're Cindy's daughter?" Yessir "I liked Cindy - a lot... she.... that woman.... wow... she was a looker! How's she doing?" Oh you know, still married to my dad! Everytime he'd walk by me he'd grin and wink. PC and I laughed long into the night about it. But back to food overflowing the table - the good, old-fashioned homemade stuff - biscuits and bread, lasagna, salads - you name it - it was there and it was good! There were two lads playing guitars - because where we're from, whether your a girl or a boy, you'll always be a lad. A young lad to the older crew. And homemade liquor. Wow. In the words of the 65 year old birthday boy "Have a swig of 'er - she'll burn the hair off your arsehole". I had a swig. She did what she said.
I can't stop laughing today. In fact, it's 9:46am and I actually haven't *technically* been to bed yet. There will be no doubts that by about 3pm I will crash and burn and die. And I wouldn't trade it for anything. And given the opportunity, I would do it all again.
Last night I was surrounded by people that knew where I came from, where my mom and dad came from, and then where their parents came from. I was surrounded by people that had worked hard their entire lives, and while they might not have a lot, they would give to you whatever you asked for, if it was even close to being within their power. Last night I was surrounded by people that not only invited me into the house, they invited me into their lives and homes - if only for a few hours. The next time I see one out and about, they will stop and aske me how I'm doing, how my family is and invite me to the next gathering, whenever it may be.
Sometimes at work I forget that people are human. Sometimes I forget that they may actually have good days, rather than the ugly ones I witness. Sometimes I think we could all use a kitchen party with two young lads playing guitars while everyone shares some homemade B52's that will burn the hair of your arsehole, and dancing with some old guy in workpants and suspenders.
These are the memories where you sit back and you laugh and you remember it with a big smile because it was a good thing that life handed you for a few hours in the woods.
All I can say about life is, Oh God, enjoy it!
Bob Newhart (1929-)