The July Fourth weekend was a busy one for us ! We attended / hosted three parties over the weekend and now , on the 5th , we’re both partied out.
On Saturday, we attended a farewell party for two dear friends of ours who are moving away from the area . On Sunday, we walked down the street to my brother-in-law’s house for a joint birthday celebration for his son and ours . And on Sunday , we hosted a last farewell party at our house for our two friends . There was some overlap of the guests at the three parties but there were enough new people that the conversation flowed and we all had a good time .
It’s remarkable too how varied the food was. All three parties were barbecues but (except for sausages and peppers which we took to the Saturday party and which we also served at our own ) all the items were different . Yessir , a Fourth of July BBQ doesn’t any longer mean burgers, hot dogs, potato salad and coleslaw.The meats at the three parties included tandoori chicken , Mexi-K0 (Mexican -Korean) pork chops , chicken-apple sausages and Rajasthani Murgh soola . Just three of the many salads were Papaya , Avocado and Spinach salad w/ Orange Cumin Dressing , a tabbouleh style salad of Bulgur, Cucumber and Tomato with Parsley and Mint in a dressing of Olive Oil , Garlic and lemon juice & an Asian -style Noodle Salad. Definitely not your father’s BBQ. It was a lot of effort but it was worth it . We’re stuck with the left-overs for the next few days but , what the heck , we won’t have to cook till next week-end!
Important as the food is , it is the guests who make the party worthwhile. Over the years we’ve found that a mix of new and old friends makes for very interesting conversations . When it’s the same group that meets over and over again the conversation goes along predictable lines and often becomes boring . This time there was one new family at our party and they added a lot to it . The man has a business that often takes him to the Middle East and it was fascinating to hear his take on the differences between the various peoples of the region . Because of his presence the conversation veered off in new and unexpected directions and we even learnt new things from our friends of several years . S-o-o much better than the usual discussions about sports ,economy and politics .
As we grow older , the conversations and camaraderie with friends grow ever more important . What a pity that one cannot just drop in on a friend and have a chat , perhaps over a drink or two . I at least am not lucky enough to have too many friends in that category . The couple that we bade farewell to were one of the few like that and now they are gone . The rest are not close , either as friends or in terms of geography .
P.S. While we were in the backyard setting up for the BBQ , a huge trailer pulled up and parked on the side street . It was a mobile home theater service and had been hired for the afternoon by the people across the street for a party that they were throwing . It was parked there from 12 noon till 8 P.M and, throughout that period , party guests kept slipping in to play games like Laser Tag in air-conditioned comfort . Surprisingly , they were young adults , not children as I would have thought . I wonder how much the rental charge was for the afternoon . How different from our party and how different each generation is .