So how did the party go? It started slow, I admit, which was a small grace because it's always slow getting stuff organized. I'd had to run out to the pet shop for I forget what, and also to pick up some ice from the convenience store, causing me to discover the convenience store next to the pet shop hasn't got bags of ice for some reason? Who knows.
But everything we were worried about happening didn't happen. Mostly that was the rain we were afraid of happening held off until after midnight, long after things broke up. Also we were afraid there'd be a puddle of stagnant water in the neighbor's yard, because their yard has no drainage and had puddles of muddy water all last summer and much of this spring. But that had dried up and was reasonably clean and respectable.
Something like a half-dozen people came, enough that they could sit around the table on the patio in the evening and see our goldfish and all that. Not so many that we ran out of chairs, although MWS mentioned how he leaves his fold-out beach chairs in his trunk all summer just in case. That's a good idea and we should do that ourselves. Nobody seemed upset by the mismatched colors in our patio rocks.
We'd provided light snacks, since we figured to just be a couple of hours at the end of the normal-person's workday. And some beer and whatnot, the need for which produced this hilarious scene. bunny_hugger sent me to the farmer's market on the west side of town with instructions to get a lagar and a something else. You see how fluent I am in the language of beer. I was able to find one of them without help and then looked around desperately for the rest. In the middle of aisles of beer I had to call on staff help to find beer. I did discover they had Pabst Blue Ribbon, in their beer cave, though.
The party was a lot of work. But it was also a nice evening spent with people sitting in the garden, looking at the pond, wandering back and forth into the house, remarking how large a rabbit we have, playing our pinball machine --- which is surprisingly loud, audible further out into the yard than we figured --- that sort of thing. And there's the wonderful strange feeling of the two of us, normally the only inhabitants of the house, being out in the yard and hearing the electronic sound of our pinball machine hard at work, and it being fine.
On the one hand, it'll be nice to do that again. On the other hand, it's a lot of work to start doing.
Trivia: In 1900 railroads employed about a million people in the United States, at an average salary of $567. Source: An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power, John Steele Gordon.
Currently Reading: The World Within War: America's Combat Experience in World War II, Gerald F Linderman.