Friday, May 13, 2011

Last Weekend was BUSY!

May in general is a pretty busy month for our family.  There are lots of birthdays and of course Mother's Day usually falls in there somewhere.  This year, it was the day after my Dad's birthday so we had a big family thing all weekend!

James flew in from New York and John drove down from Atlanta.  Part one was a somewhat raucus dinner at the Olive Garden.

Since the Olive Garden doesn't take reservations, it's first come, first served. And it was HOT - so we waited in the bar. John bought a round of beer for everyone, which was pretty good stuff - Blue Moon with a slice of orange. ZBoy had peach tea (with slices of peaches in it!).

We were kind of killing time, so James decided to give the folks their presents.  For Dad, it was a photo book with pictures James took in Wales around the farm where Dad grew up.  A huge gasp followed by tears of joy.  It was a beautiful book.  And Mom got a framed picture of a statue of an angel that he took in Ireland.  Both gifts were accompanied by wonderful notes about the gifts - and in addition, a photo book of our family trip to Pine Mountain for the 50th wedding anniversary.  They were all big hits!

When we were finally seated, Dad lagged behind.  He was not at the table when the waitress offered free samples of wine, so when he got to the table, he asked where we all got wiine from.  The waitress then showed up and Dad asked for his own sample - at which point the waitress asked to see his ID.  The look on his face was priceless as he sputtered that he'd passed the 7 decade mark a year ago.  We fell about laughing...  We'd all been carded too (it's policy) but Dad missed that part.  It was just the beginning of an evening of laughter.

Orders for appetizers were taken, but being a prom weekend, the kitchen was a bit crazy - the only appetizer that was ready before our dinner arrived was Mom's bruschetta.  We cancelled the rest of the appetizers, and Mom offered us all some of her bruschetta.  We, however, were enthralled with our dinners and not interested in bruschetta at that point.  Still, she tried to get us to eat it all through dinner.  It became kind of a joke.  A running one that followed her all through the weekend. 

Dinner was lots of fun and we laughed a lot (slightly lubricated as we were).  Z kept asking me if I was drunk, after half a beer that I never finished and a tiny bit of wine.  I had to reassure him that I was not, nor were any of the rest of us.  When we were done with dinner though, we were tired AND very full.  John gave us a lift home (James had driven us to the restaurant) and Z and I went in and tumbled into bed, hoping for plenty of rest before Sunday, which would be a very busy day indeed.

I left Z sleeping and Darling Man reading the paper and went to early church.  I probably would have skipped, but I wanted to attend the Lector training being held directly after the service.  Since I read aloud for part of my living, I figured I'd lend my voice to the church as well.  There was a brief introduction and discussion of what would be expected and then we were done.  Yay!  Plenty of time to get home, change, grab the boy and head out to the farm.

We had a big day planned.  Our Panama City cousins were working on the play "To Kill A Mockingbird" at the Kaleidescope Theatre there.  One was in the play, another was the prop mistress.  I'd planned to take Z over the following weekend, but when Mom heard about it, she decided she wanted all of us to go.  We piled into the van, Dad at the wheel, Mom in co-pilot position, John and James in the middle, and Z and I all the way in the back.  It was a fun ride, though it was hard to hear all the way in the back.  We amused ourselves and read our books.  Z is reading "To Kill A Mockingbird" for his Language Arts class, so the timing of this play was serendipitous.

And the play itself was WONDERFUL!  All the actors were great, the set was amazing...  everything was perfect.  The little girl who played Scout had never been in a play before, but she's a natural.  I love when you watch a movie or play and forget that you're separate and watching from the outside.  They were that good.
Isn't it amazing?  The set was a real work of art.  My cousin Dharma played Miss Stephanie, the nosy neighbor.  She was really good - she's good in everything I've seen her in so far!    

It became a real family affair.  Not only did we drive over from Tallahassee to attend, but Cousin Fred drove up from St. Pete, and Cousin Lilith and her husband were down from Maryland as well!  It was quite the Mother's Day!    And a perfect celebration of family.

Once the play was wrapped up, we all headed to Golden Corral for dinner before driving home.  Ong My (another cousin, father of Dharma) joined us and we had a nice visit up and down the table.

The trip home was a little quieter than the trip out, but a nice ride anyway.  The next day being a school day, we got into our own car as soon as we got back to the farm and headed for home.  For the second night in a row, we fell into our beds exhausted but happy.

1 comment:

Pamela said...

I had warm feelings listening to the family fun. Seems that we all live so far apart that it is difficult to get together. Now with the price of gas there are more restraints. My family (siblings) live in Oklahoma, California, Oregon, and Washington. Once my mom passed away, and my eldest sister --things just were never the same.