Each of the streets in our neighborhood has its own park complete with playground equipment and plenty of grass to throw the ball around. And each year a couple of the ladies on our street organize a big Memorial Day block party at the park. Last year was our first year in the neighborhood and although we were hesitant to go, we really enjoyed ourselves. The weather was great, there were over 180 people there, they rented one of those bouncing things for the kids as well as a snowcone and popcorn vendor, and the adults had several kegs of beer from the local brewery. We cooked, we drank, we ate, and we drank some more. The night culminated with me playing poker at some guy's brother's house and riding my bike home at 2 in the morning up a very lengthy hill. I distinctly remember looking over my shoulder every ten seconds to see if I was being stalked by a cougar.
Flash forward to this year. Knowing what we do about the scale of the party and having a lastname in the range of M to Z means that we had to bring a lot of desert. A whole lot of desert. Kristin made one of my favorite deserts last year and it was gone in minutes. An enormous bowl devoured and virtually licked clean before I even got my first hot dog. That wouldn't be the case this year.
I found an ambrosia recipe online that best resembled the one I remember one of my aunts making at family get-togethers in the summer and printed it out. It said it was enough to serve ten people. Double it, I told Kristin. There's going to be a lot of people there and I want to make sure I get some.
Yeah, you know where this was going.
The week of rain didn't stop on Saturday as it was supposed to and, instead, kept on coming straight through Sunday, the day of the party. Now, folks here in the Pacific Northwest are used to having it rain on Memorial Day. It's not that big a deal. So you get a little wet. No problem.
Not if its warm out or just the typical Seattle mist. But no, with temps in the 50's and the rain coming down in buckets, even Washingtonians will look for cover. The party was supposed to begin at noon, and it wasn't until nearly three o'clock before we finally strolled over. Kristin had a serving spoon in her hand, I had what felt like twenty pounds of marshmallows, fruit cocktail, and coconut in mine. There were tents set up across the park with a few adults sipping adult beverages under them, and about twenty kids hopping in the bouncy thing.
We stayed long enough to have a couple beers and talk to some of the neighbors. Which very much brings the Yogi-ism "it's like deja vu all over again" to mind since we don't converse with the neighbors that often. It's a simple matter of logistics, really. They all have kids. We don't. They see each other at the playgrounds and at school and at the bus stop. We don't. Each time we see them, it's for the first time. Oh, that's right, I remember your name now. And, umm, you're a lawyer right? Yes, now I remember. Yeah, we live in the yellow house a few doors down from you. And so on and so forth. There's a few people whose dogs I remember the names of, but the humans? No chance.
So we stood around in the sopping wet grass (sandals were a fine choice, Doug), getting wet and shivering, while sipping our beers. We ate at home prior to coming over, as seemingly everyone else did. Finally, after an hour or so we retrieved our bowl of ambrosia and went home. The bowl was still filled. It's only slightly less full several days later despite me having a rather large helping of the glop for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each of the past three days. What did we get for our trouble? A prolonged sugar rush is about it. And further proof that I can't remember any of my neighbor's names.