Even before I moved to Kentucky, Roy would tell stories about growing up in "the neighborhood" with his friends Jeff (Fisher), Jason, Greg, and Josh. From 4th grade on, these guys... terrorized? No, that's much too strong a word. Let's say explored their neighborhood, mostly swimming pools, late at night. It's a rare thing, I think, to remain so close to friends you have had for 20+ years, but these guys have done it.
Last week, Greg and I talked about having a party to celebrate his, my, and Fisher's August birthdays, and he offered to host it at his place with his beautiful fiance, Stacey. We hadn't been out there and were looking forward to seeing his new life and getting to know his soon-to-be bride a little bit better.
Roy's mom offered to watch Sophie for the night as a birthday gift to me. She also got some quality time with Aubrey.
I have very few pictures of what happened next.
Greg is a master pit boss and he started the smoker about 10AM loaded with brisket, pork shoulder, and chicken. I cooked fresh green beans country style all day, and there were potatoes and fruit and bread and caprice salad and cookies (2 kinds!) and beer and the homemade bbq sauce dripped off chins onto the table. We laughed, we played hacky sack, we explored the near acre of property, we listened to the guys tell the same stories of their childhood that they tell every year and always keep us in stitches. Josh and I played music and explored the wonders of the ukulele. We met our friend Jamie's new girl and loved her. We told crass jokes and we laughed and we laughed and we laughed.
Then, around midnight, Josh decided to jump into Greg and Stacey's swimming pool.
(I should stop here and say that yesterday was COLD. We were huddled under blankets and wearing sweatshirts. By midnight it was easily in the low 60's and the low last night was 54!)
Fisher came next.
And when Jason jumped in and the floaty noodles came out, I had a glimpse of their childhood.
They were in for a while because it was too cold to get out. But they found their comfort zones.
We stayed very very warm standing on the side and laughing at them.
We went to Greg and Stacey's with the intention on spending the night outside. We packed our tent, but when we got there and saw the mosquito-netted tent next to the pool, we moved our bed in there.
And when I woke up and opened my eyes this morning, this is what I saw.
Today is a day for laziness. Oh, I'll go to the grocery store and cook something simple for dinner. I'll work on my lists of things to take to South Dakota (in little more than a week!) and I'll love the open windows and softness of the couch. And I'll feel that warm, deep in my belly feeling of love and good fortune after a night well spent.