Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hodgepodge: Reminiscing, Roller Skating, and RSVP-ing

Linking up today with Joyce for the Wednesday Hodgepodge.
1. It is officially fall here in North America...I realize not everyone who participates in the Hodgepodge lives in North America but if you do, what's your favorite memory of Summer 2011? If you're not in North America, what's your favorite memory of the season just ending on your side of the world?

You'd think it would have to do with a relaxing vacation instead of a jam-packed schedule and house, but honestly, my favorite memory of the summer of 2011 was our Z family reunion. The funniest part ,of course, was the "cake wreck" for Paul's 50th birthday. It was supposed to say, "Happy Birthday, you old buzzard" (since he's a Ravens fan). But the bakery wrote "you old buzzer" and then "corrected" it finally with "you old buzzrad." The laughs in the house were worth more than the price of the cake.
As I sat around watching and listening to this family, I thought how blessed we are. I recalled the days when these kids who are now parents (some of them) with kids in their laps, used to climb into our laps. I still love to be called "Aunt Zo" by the 30-somethings.It's one notch down from the love of being called "Mom."
I longed for Paul's parents to be there and glory in the joy of their offspring, and wondered for a moment if God lets people "look down from heaven" on beautiful times like these. I thanked him for the marital fidelity in this room, despite the hard times. All the brothers have stay married to the same woman (okay, each to his OWN woman, I mean). Paul and I were the last ones married nearly 25 years ago. I saw those 25 pass before me as I glanced around the room. We enjoy each other's company. We feed off each other's humor. We share a common faith. We love the same teams. Most of us love to talk. (I've always said if there are 12 of us in the room, you'd hear 13 conversations.) We share DNA and history and memories and pains and joys and talents . For a brief afternoon that sped by like a shooting star, I sensed a deep and abiding feeling of belonging. Belonging to a wonderful family. Flawed as it is, as crazy and loud and sometimes obnoxious and offensive as we've been with each other, we truly do love each other and love our times together, stuffing our faces with watermelon, cheeseburgers, deviled eggs...and Buzzrad cake.

2. Your favorite nut? You know I mean the edible kind, right?

Oh, okay. Glad you clarified. In fact, you inspired me to write a little poem.

I really like pecans. I like them in pie .
I like them in ice cream in late July.
I like them in muffins, in cake, and in rolls,
I like when they fill in the gaps and the holes.
I like pecans alone or mixed in with others,
I'd eat them all day if I had my druthers.

3. What activity puts your sense of balance to the test?

If you mean my physical equilibrium, my answer is "walking down a flight of grey cement stairs that either have no marking on the edge or have eye-popping hazard yellow strips painted on the edge that seem to come in rapid succession compared to my slow descent." I hang on for dear life, regardless.

But if you mean my sense of balance emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and otherwise, the test is any big family event I'm helping to host where the expectations are high, but the energy and resources are low. I have two such events coming soon, the first of which has already involved about 79 emails in 3 days between me and my three sisters as we plan my parents' 50th wedding anniversary party. (Heretofore known as the WAP, okay? Teehee.) We have discussed such seemingly petty things as whether to include a self-addressed stamped envelope for the RSVP card. I said no to the stamp. But my opinion was overruled for a number of reasons. Please don't get me started on the whole RSVP thing.

4. How would you describe your sense of humor?

To quote a line from South Pacific, "I'm as corny as Kansas in August." In fact, when I tell a joke, someone in the house mutters, "Kansas humor."

5. September 28th is National Ask a Stupid Question Day...what's your stupid question?

Oh, boy. I have asked so many stupid questions in the past. I could provide an entire night of material for a Bill Engvall's "Here's Your Sign" routine.

One stupid question I ask a lot is, "Is it raining outside?"

Think about it. Rain falls from the sky, and the sky is outside...

I should simply ask, "Is it raining?"

However, this past month has made me think maybe it's not such a stupid question after all to ask, "Is it raining outside?" I think if you'd asked anyone on East Coast, they might just tell you that it's been raining INSIDE, OUTSIDE, UPSIDEDOWN! This September is the wettest in Maryland records. The upside? Our grass is gloriously green.

6. Roller skates~hula hoop~jump rope...which activity would you most enjoy? Yes, you have to choose.

Scroll back to Answer #3. This girl has trouble walking down steps, and you're telling me I have to choose from among an activity on wheels, a spinning motion, and going airborne with a lead butt? This is not easy. I'll say hula hoop. I can still swing my hips, but sadly it's often accompanied by a chiropractic visit. Once upon a time I enjoyed roller skating and --here's a fun bit of romantic trivia for ya-- my hubby and I first announced our engagement to friends at a roller rink. This classy one, to be exact.

7. What's your most sentimental possession?

My wedding rings.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

How do you feel about party favors? Are they nice mementos? Clutter? Okay if practical or edible? A waste of money for the hosts? Unthinkable not to give to guests?


Expats Again said...

You are so blessed to have a large extended family, to be able to get together and to enjoy one another's company. Rare these days with the divorce rate so high. I have never experienced this and it is probably one of life's biggest regrets. Hopefully, when we return back to the U.S. Enjoy it for you are truly fortunate to have it.

Joyce said...

That was such a touching expression of what family is all about. So very sweet to read.

I think favors are a nice touch, a thoughtful gesture, but they need to be something people want to take so when everyone is gone you don't see a bunch of them lying on the tables while $$$ signs flash in front of your eyes. I also wouldn't think they are essential at something like a WAP : )

DD said...

Your reunion sounds like it was such a blessing to attend. The cake made me laugh quite a bit.

I loved the poem, I am a pecan fan as well.

Laurie said...

I'm rejoicing that you are keeping your sense of humor, even if it is corny "Kansas humor"!
I really like pecans too... and the Pecan Poem!!!
Sweet that you and Paul announced your engagement at the skating rink! Did I tell you about Mike and me going skating pre-engagement? (Sorry if I'm repeating.)
Our chapel was having a skating party and I loved to skate! I thought everyone did, so when I asked Mike if he was going to the skate party and he said, "No. I don't skate.", I was incredulous! To prove his statement he came to the skating party, ordered his size skates, laced 'em up and proved it! (That humbling act endeared me all the more to my future husband!)
The cake wreck cracks me up!!!
"Families are complicated", so it's nice when 'family and belonging' can be used in the same sentence!
I think party favors are really nice and even nicer if they are practical or edible and maybe even more practical if they are edible! (Simplicity (and finances) rule in such cases!!)
"Please RSVP" may be better regarded if the RSVP were spelled out to mean
Respond Speedily Via Phone (no need for wasting $ on stamps that are usually wasted!) but even then it probably wouldn't be heeded. I think it may be more direct to change RSVP to DBRR! which means,
"Don't Be Rude. Respond"!
Happy planning! Seriously! Just plan, don't
let this rule you! (I'll pray.)

Cathy said...

I love a big family and am so glad I come from one and so does hubby and we all get along (most of the time). Love it.

Your pecan poem is too cute.

I said wedding ring too.

Oh I gotta say I love your header picture of the pens. My daughter would absolutely love those. She must own a thousand pens and pencils! lol

Jocelyn said...

LOL to the cakewreck... love how memories were made that summer :)

Carrie B said...

Cute poem! Your family sounds fabulous, I love gatherings like that!

We just celebrated our 25th. I put my sister in charge of recieving email rsvps. She was sooo annoyed by party time I thought she might just hold a rsvp seminar at the party. ha.
We did have party favors - We did 3 Hershey kisses in small clear bags tied with a silver ribbon with a hang tag attached. They didn't cost too much, were cute on the tables and something for guests to eat after dinner. The leftovers aren't too bad to have around since they are already "portion controlled" ha.

Our 'theme' was - We Still Do. That is what the hang tag said.

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Party favours? No thanks. I think they're just another stress that we can do without. I think the most successful parties are the ones where things don't go to plan but everyone just has the best time ever because they're together and have a shared laugh together. Like with your cake lol!!

Monkey said...

i love your poem!

Party favors are cool! It just depends on the favor. I love it when there are little bags with different candies in them (although I cannot eat them.)Also, some favors make great decorations like votive candles and tea lights.

Mary said...

Oh, that story about the cake was hilarious!

Amiee said...

I loved reading your poem about pecans :)

How do I feel about party favors? I love them! Even if they aren't very "useful" they are still fun to get. And, if they ARE useful? Even better!

Rebecca D said...

Party favors... I am struggling with this one myself... I vote edible or else it's clutter. I like it when people do the "donation" thing... But I just don't need weird junk to deal with later... How long do you need to keep a little trinket for to be polite? Is it ok to drop it off at the goodwill on the drive home?... Just asking...