Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Halcyon August Day

Every once in awhile the perfect day just happens. Yesterday was one of those days, from sunup until well after sunset...

Over a year ago, I joined the committee to plan our high school reunion. What a great decision that turned out to be! Over the months as we worked on the festivities, we had more fun and became faster friends than any of us had ever been in school. The actual reunion was last August, but we still find excuses to get together at least once a month. Any excuse will do - we just want to see each other and to laugh and enjoy each others' company. Yesterday was just such a get-together. Sort of a picnic, sort of a mini-reunion, whatever it was, we didn't need an official name for it.

My day started in the kitchen as I made my coffee, then got to work making a blackberry pie. I haven't baked in quite awhile, and I forgot how much I enjoy it. I love the process of getting out the cookbook and gathering the ingredients, then putting them together to produce something good to eat. It's even more enjoyable when I'm making something to share with my friends. The best part about this pie though, is that the blackberries were free. I picked them Friday evening outside my apartment. The crop this year is just wonderful; that pie smelled so good as it was baking!

With the pie finished and other chores out of the way, I headed off to the private beach for the picnic. It was a perfect Seattle summer day. Warm, sunny, with a bit of a breeze to keep things cool. People started trickling in, and we soon had a group of about 30 people. It was so good to see everyone again! Hugs and laughs and conversation abounded all afternoon and evening long. There was lots of good food, and I was pleasantly surprised (and secretly very pleased) to see my pie disappear quickly. I was lucky I even got a piece so I could find out if it was any good!

I think one of the best parts of the day was the bonfire. We roasted (or burned) lots of marshmallows. I had forgotten how good those things taste. One of our classmates brought his guitar and serenaded us with a beautiful rendition of the Eagles' "Hotel California," one of my very favorite songs...the "Hell Freezes Over" version of course! As I looked around at all my friends and their families, I realized that I was feeling more relaxed and at ease than I had in a very long time. There is just something so cathartic about sitting on the waterfront and breathing in all that fresh air and soaking in all that sunshine, and sharing it all with people who have become such good friends...

...the evening had to finally come to an end, and everyone started gathering up their families and their belongings and sharing hugs all around. Then they were all gone except for three of us. Well, somebody had to stay and make sure the fire went out! None of us wanted the evening to end though, so we kept adding to the fire. It was just so warm and crackly and comforting, and the company and the stories were so enjoyable and funny. Even the security guard who stopped by added to the evening. It turns out he graduated ten years before we did, but boy did he remember all of the teachers from back then! He kept the three of us entertained for awhile, then he moved on up the beach.

At long last we decided to let the fire burn down to hot embers, and then with a huge steaming sizzle we dumped a bucket of ice water on the flames. We gathered up the last of the items left behind, and climbed into our cars for the drive home. It was then that I realized it was after two o'clock in the morning - and I still didn't want to go home...

...last night I slept better than I have in a long, long time.

3 comments:

graymama said...

What a fabulous day and a fabulous story! While reading it, I felt like part of the party :-)

Vintage Collage & Quilts said...

I too am on our reunion committee. It was good to see old friends on the committee & I'm in the process of getting emails from classmates every few days with addresses. I talked on the phone with two old favorite friends from high school for 3 HOURS! It was like I had just talked to them yesterday - the same connection.

It's a lot of work but worth it in the long run.

Freakazojd said...

That sounds like an amazing time - I love it when the night is so good you don't want it to end! :)