Fun times filled the month of May. It was Tal’s birthday and I planned a small party for two. We did all the fun things adults like to do on party days: listen to music, dance a little, have a couple of cocktails, and of course indulge in a bit of birthday cake.
Now, what does one do about a birthday cake when you are Off Grid and haven’t gone to the grocery store for three weeks? My solution is to keep a bag of hidden goodies in the pantry. That is where I keep a few items to pull from if we are taking a day trip or there is a special occasion. It usually consists of a small assortment of cookies and snack bars. We just happened to have a few small cakes (individually wrapped to keep their freshness) left over from some strawberry shortcake we had previously enjoyed. I put the plain cakes on a saucer, and opened a can of whole cranberry sauce. I mixed half the can with a cut up orange. I put a few large spoon-fulls across the cake and then sprinkled the whole thing with slivered almonds and powdered sugar. It was really delicious and because the orange and cranberry sauce was tart the dessert was not too sweet. Having a good assortment of dried fruit, nuts, coconut and canned fruit provide for many goodies that can be pulled last minute out of the cupboard when there is need for a special treat. I always keep a box of birthday candles on hand as well.
After that we were invited to join in a local small town parade called Pioneer Days. We were asked to ride in an old limousine and throw out candy to the children (of all ages). I told the driver, our friend Robin, that I had made a mistake when I added an item to my wish list. I wrote down: I want to ride around in a limousine every day. Well, “be careful what you ask for,” are real words of caution. I ended up riding around in limos every day for nearly two years as I was the driver! It was not what I had in mind, of course, but that is how my wish played out. Tal had never rode in a limo before, so for him it was exciting. For me it was a walk down memory lane, and it was much more fun to be riding in the back!
Memorial Day followed a couple of weekends later. We were invited to an all day picnic and jam session. We could walk there from the private acreage where we are staying. When we reached the main street of town, American flags had been placed every 50 feet or so. It was a nice breezy day and they made a strong statement of what the day stood for as they blew in the wind. The party had twenty or so guests during the time we were there. Food was spread out on a table and a tub of sodas were available. I opted for a soda and an orange from a fruit plate, while Tal indulged in some crispy barbecued chicken and salad.
The party/picnic was located at what they call the Community Center which is Christian based, but it is not a prerequisite for using the facilities or participating in the events. The music was mostly folk hymns. I love live music of any sort. I did enjoy the old hymns as they reminded me of my childhood—going to church and summer camp.
Tal and I both wore red, white and blue and others at the party were also dressed in patriotic colors. There was an undercurrent of recognition for what the holiday represented, and I felt a sense of silent appreciation for all of our military, past and present.
The weather was sketchy. It was windy with clouds hanging low in a blue sky. It had been raining in the morning, so we left the party early just in case. We had quite a walk to return to the truck.
I’m always up for a party! I admit, I’m a social butterfly. More than the common reasons why that would be, like just because it’s fun; it’s interesting the things in life that shape the way we are. When my parents had parties and picnics scheduled, it was a safe time as the ongoing abuse by my father would suddenly stop. When other people were around my father was on his best behavior. I would pray that another party or picnic would happen sometime soon again. I also enjoyed the hustle and bustle of preparing for the parties and my mother went all out during the holidays. Those are the good memories of my childhood. Tal is always willing to come along to the events as he has a social attitude himself. So to say the least, it was a very fun May, 2015.