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Camp Rest-A-While Retreat

Thirty one signed the guestbook Yard parking was full and several parked along the driveway, but there was no car jockeying when people left. Didn't find the pop up canopies but didn't really need them. Rain stopped (after ~2inches overnight) at about 6am (I was up at 6:30).Forecast was 40% chance of thundershowers from ~4 til 7, but it didn't happen. Pleasant weather for the whole party with occasional bright sun.

Today it's all clear. Some locals take the weather forecasts too seriously. I've always believed that the weather will be good for my party.

Menu was pretty much the regular one, dips, chips and crudites from noon until the [party was over. Hot dogs and burgers on the grills for lunch, taco makings for later lunch. Pork ribs and oven fried chicken drumstick to bridge between lunch and dinner. Grilled Kielbasa chunks and cheese cubes as an appetizer. Home-made lasagna and home-made scalloped potatoes, (canned) green beans and grilled London Broil for dinner. There was a two cardtable panoply of desserts and a bounty of beer, wine and soft drinks that the guests brought. I provided almost 4 gallons of iced tea.

A small boy earnestly quizzed me about what dangerous animals we had here, not out of fear but not quite a normal curiosity. He came back for a second session, asking more details about how big the animals were.

Only one or two guests had dietary restrictions. I had already carefully avoided nuts and corn tortilla tacos took care of the requests for something gluten-free.

Several guests went swimming and the canoe was in almost constant use. I didn't have the strength or energy to get the rowboat down off the saw horses, so it just watched. All of the porch and lawn chairs were put to good use. There was a chess game down by the lake until the slate table finally succumbed to old age and winter weather. After a short time-out the game was moved indoors.

Guests began leaving about 5:30 and the crowd steadily thinned until about a dozen were left at 7:15. All of those pitched in to clean up the yard and porch and to put things away. Dishes were piled neatly in the sink, waiting for my attention. The last of the guests were on there way shortly after 8 and I had most of the washing up done by 11. I didn't find anything extra in my morning look around the porch and yard (except for two clear plastic knives that were almost invisible).

Overall an enjoyable experience for me, even though I was without the help from my daughter (who usually keeps me from burning anything on the stove and keeps things tidied up) from my son-in-law (who usually tends the grills and keeps me supplied with refreshing beverages) or my granddaughter (who keeps the chips, dips and crudites resupplied). Guests were anxious to help and ran errands and retrieved supplies for me. Most important (aside from their enjoyment of being here for the day) was their help in cleaning up at the end of the party

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