Rock Around the Block

Finally!  Block Party Day!  The guys started early as usual setting up in the center of the street which the local police blocked off with sawhorses.  I had heard that the obstacle courses were going to be  doozies this year.  With the aging population of bike riders in this neighborhood, we needed one just for the little kids and a special one for the older kids.  Zettie Louise had been tapped to help with the course for the older ones and set up a practice grid in her driveway that she tried out over and over to insure that the curves were just right.  The little kids were happy with small walls and cones to drive around as long as they could ring their bells and toot their horns.  Harold had purchased a new barbecue grill this year, so the men would have something new to huddle around while grilling our hot dogs and hamburgers.  There was talk of barbecued chicken and shish kebobs, so I looked forward to seeing how they cooked those.

I made my apple bars and added a second easy dessert, a dump cake.  So called, because I dumped everything into the same dish and baked until done.  I wasn’t sure what the other girls were bringing but everyone has a specialty and I always look forward to seeing what shows up on the community table. I didn’t feel as competitive this year as last and didn’t plan on repeating my choice to stuff two brownies into Harold’s mouth for taste testing.

Edie was established now with the other ladies in our group and made sure that she left an empty folding chair next to her for Chloe.  I wasn’t sure who Chloe had spent any time with yet, but this would be a great chance for her to meet everyone at one time.  I was wearing a new pair of long shorts, had shaved my semi-tanned legs and slathered on my body lotion for a nice shine.  The weather was perfect and not too hot.  I will acknowledge that I am a woman who sweats.  My mother was a woman who sweated.  We don’t glow, we run a little hotter than average.  A little cooler weather never bothers me.  Steve had quickly eaten early this morning so that he could help out with the set-up.  Our husbands are so good at taking care of the heavy lifting.  I don’t mind making a suggestion or two for organizing but I don’t think any of them have been put into place. Mags was going to make a big batch of some new delicious cocktail that I hadn’t heard of; hopefully it would help loosen up the group and make the conversation lively.
When Steve came back in, he showered again and put on fresh clothes.  I had purchased a new shirt for him and it showed off his tan arms.  He had played a good amount of golf this summer and looked good. Friel’s had dropped off the beer kegs and they were sitting in the shade in big galvanized tubs in ice water.  When we went outside, the other neighbors started coming out also and the party began.  A new toy called the Flyin Saucer was being thrown back and forth on the front lawn next door and it sailed from hand to hand.  It looked like a saucer too.  Daisy had her bike decorated with pink bows and headed down to the little kids round up.  Junior took off with his friends to see what kind of devilment they could get into.  It was off to a great start.

When Chloe arrived, Edie invited her to come and sit so they could get to know each other.  That was nice of Edie.  She probably remembered how it felt last year when she was the new girl.  At least she got Artie to stand with the guys this year.  Steve waved Francis over to the group by the grill and there followed a lot of hand shaking.  I sat back to watch the scene.  My neighborhood was really impressive.  We eagerly take in newcomers, value those who have been here forever and make sure that our kids have a good life.  I felt the warm sun on my face, sipped my Gin and Sin, and listened to the friendly conversations going around me.  Oh that Gin and Sin?  That was Mags’ contribution – a great mix of gin, orange juice, lemon juice and grenadine syrup, wrapped around some ice cubes and shaken.  Very refreshing!



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