Welcome Home: Housewarming Party

For months we’ve been saying we would combine a housewarming party with the 4th of July, since our new house faces the golf course over which our city explodes fireworks every year.

It felt like so far away, sometime out in the distance that we had plenty of time to prepare for. And then it was here, in the blink of an eye.

And then it was over.

That’s the thing about parties: you plan for ages and then it passes so quickly, all your efforts and ideas graduated into the future.

So last night, tables lined our driveway and snaked through our backyard. Music blared from the outdoor speakers, over the patio. Red, white and blue flowers decorated all the tables, and my lovely husband stood at the grill, flipping burgers, browning hot dogs, grilling mushrooms.

There was enough food for more than everyone who came, and so many people came. Friend after good friend walked up the sidewalk, up the drive, engulfed in hugs and hellos.

We celebrated with our wonderful friend David Heidt, who is the best decorator and landscape architect and event planner I know. We celebrated with our wonderful friend Ed Malaga, the best painter in the whole state.

Is a housewarming party for the people who moved into the new house, or for their guests? I believe that it’s the warmth of realizing how many good friends you truly have, how rich and full your life is, how blessed we are in knowing such quality, caring people.

Several families brought sparklers. A long-time friend brought a homemade pie. Bottles of wine and hand-written notes of congratulations, smiles abundant, and the music played until late in the night, well after the grand firework finale.

Toward the end, we migrated to the front yard, to watch the fireworks show. Children danced in the closed-off street, lit only by the occasional street lamp or hand-held sparkler fizzling its way down to dark.

The show was spectacular, as it always is. But it really didn’t matter. Anti-climactic.

The point of it all was to celebrate good friends, good life. Abundance in every direction. Heart-filled relationships. Love in so many forms.

This morning, my house is a little cranky. Kids are tired from going to bed in the early morning. Shaya fell asleep on the couch, to be carried up, limp in our arms, to bed.

Giant tins of watermelon turned into smoothies. Kids ate burgers and hot dogs for breakfast. (What do you want? They’re all over the fridge!) And now two of them can’t find their pool passes anywhere.

It’s the opposite of celebration.

That’s ok. We’ll get through this too, as we get through everything. Families are a mixed bag of up and down and up again.

The phone rang what felt like early but it was already after 9. My father asked if he woke me up. (As if!) Thanked us profusely for the wonderful party and for being part of it. (It wouldn’t be the same without my parents here!)

Then my mother called a half hour later to say the same. Facebook is exploding with good feelings about all of us sharing such a special night.

I feel so blessed. I feel so blessed.

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