Sunday, December 3, 2017

A pony of course

I had enough time to clean the interior of my car, run it through the car wash and add a couple of pounds of air to the tires before hitting the road to go to a birthday party. My cousin's granddaughter (easier than getting into the many-times removed from me cousin thing) turned six earlier in the week. I knew she was into Hatchimals and was feeling pretty good about my present until I walked in the door and was charged by the birthday girl. "Guess what I got, a pony!"

Way to show up everyone else, parents.

The pony is actually a horse, grown but small and with some kind of leg defect that will prevent it from be ridden by anyone over 100 pounds. It belonged to a family friend who was only willing to part with it because of the animal-loving home it would be going to. I didn't get the rest of the details. With seven kids in attendance, all under 11, it invigorating atmosphere.

After the cake and ice cream were served, the presents opened and scattered across two rooms, and every kid had serenaded me with a sampling of the songs sung at their school programs, I collected the hugs due me and snuck away. I sensed a sugar-high crash coming.If not from the kids, then from me.

I was just getting back to the city when I received a text from my friend Eve (my car reads the texts for me so I didn't touch the phone while driving). She invited me to join her and her husband Paul at one of my favorite restaurants for beer and appetizers. I was only wearing jeans and a sweater, but it was barely evening so I chanced it.

A few other of their friends were already there when I arrived. I finally met their closest friend Blaine (Eve frequently mentions him) and a couple Paul knows through his work. They host a popular tailgate during the football season. Eve has invited me, but I haven't gone. I'm more comfortable in some social situations than others, and a tailgate doesn't seem like something I'd do well at.

I stayed long enough to have a couple of beers and split two appetizers -- roasted Brussel's sprouts and an excellent baked beet one. Actually Blaine and I ended up splitting those since the beet chunks were too "beety" for the others.

When talk turned to going to the dining room for dinner, I said my good-byes. The birthday cake and appetizers were enough.

. . .

One thing that has changed since the days when I kept an online journal is the expectation of anonymity. Back then it wasn't so easy to track people. This time around I feel I need to protect people to a certain degree. That's why the picture in this entry doesn't show any of the kids' faces.

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