Tuesday, July 6, 2010

World Cup Weekend

The whole point of the huge TV and Cable extravaganza was to facilitate a get-together with Murray's New Years crowd. I call them that because they are a bunch of friends who have been gathering every New Years since they were at college together.  There are a few of us spouses (I think I'm the newest and I've been coming for 8 yrs) whom the core group absorbed without a hitch. Over the years the numbers have doubled - the younger generation ranges from 14 years to 17 months. The kids are a whole other marvelous community - big kids watching out for little, inevitable melodramas and every year a fantastic play - produced and directed by the big kids and incorporating the little ones when they are old enough.

The adults have the house party system down to a comfortable science. We had 17 people staying here for 4 days and it was great. They are the easiest and funnest group to host. The dynamic was slightly different than at New Years because we're at a parental farmhouse in Vermont, where Caleb's parents are the absentee hosts. Therefore the organization (esp of food) is egalitarian. However, since this was at our house and I cannot relinquish control of the kitchen, the meals were for the weekend organized more or less to my plan. I would characterize my style as relaxed despotism. Which works well with a crowd of helpful hands and I felt everyone was fed and happy most of the time.

We did eat well. Here are the highlights: grilled fish tacos, a curry feast, blue cheese hamburgers, gazpacho, sourdough pancakes/waffles and a strawberry cream birthday cake. The first-comers also enjoyed a pavlova - of course. (This is my summer of Pavlovas. I'm obsessed.)

It was great to see our house live up to it's potential. It absorbed the numbers admirably. I never felt like I was tripping over people and every family had their own nook. It helped that the weather was gorgeous and we'd borrowed the mother of all Slip and Slides.

There was soccer (both World Cup and live games),

 evening bonfires, swimming in a neighbor's pool, a death march to the Buttner's pool, a 4th of July town event in Woodstock, Natty's lemonade stand,

 a production of The Wizard of Oz, a pinata,

and lots of running by the adults (in fact, I went running every day - which no doubt was a contributing factor to my enjoyment of the entire weekend).

The culminating event was a half birthday party for Natty (also my birthday). I made a pinata with the "help" of the kids, we had a cookout and the strawberry cream cake. The crowd gave me lovely silverware  - so we will no longer run out of forks when we host more than 8 people! And we actually read the Declaration of Independence which was pretty cool.

It was a fabulous time. We're all exhausted and the weather has taken a turn for the hot so we're hunkered down inside, cleaning and lounging. Recuperating from the party and planning the next.

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