It was the perfect 4th of July party, on the most quintessential Chicago weather weekend I can remember. People arrived at our neighbor’s home on bikes, foot, and in cars carrying their beachbags and food and games to share. Other than the start time, there was no schedule to follow, just the mood of the guests.
After a long dunk in the pool, my highlight of both this and last year was the rag-tag baseball game in the empty field (with the perfectly mowed diamond) with players ranging from ages 4 to 50. The dads “bobbled” the balls so the young ones would be sure to make it to base–even the one who hit and ran directly to second base, newcomers hitting next to practiced players, only the 8 year old-boys keeping score, even the newest neighbors joining in. It reminds me of the way we used to play pick-up-games when I was a kid.
After calling quits the long game of few innings when we all needed refreshments, people moved to volleyball, a neighbor’s trampoline, and athe kids spent a good hour throwing each other into the pool before dinner. The fluidity of the day kept it so relaxed, no kids’ tempers flared, no adults disagreed, no cliques formed of any age and the mood was jovial and true.
After the traditional and delicious bar-be-que was complete, the football was tossed in the yard and baggo played until the misquitoes decided their party should begin, feasting on human limbs. We re-grouped by a poolside fire. Several people ran and got marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers to make some impromptu s’mores on a many-pronged tree branch. Stars brightened the skies, while we laughed and told stories until the children and perhaps some adults simply ran out of steam.
Families departed like fireflies, flickering off in the distance, after neighboring towns’ fireworks ended. A simple, great day had by all, gently guided by outdoor pleasures, our whims and wonderful hosts. Thanks for more fine memories, Urs and Tom. C