I am looking forward to attending my very own block’s block party. In the past and with so many political and campaign commitments, I have not been able to go-or, at best, have only been able to spend but a little time with my neighbors. It has been my loss.
This year I get to spend some quality time-maybe even with my son and daughter-in-law, Maj. Joe (Pepi) and Christina, who are in Riverside and in Illinois for nine months while Pepi attends Loyola University’s Law School for a health care course he needs to take for the Army.
They are normally in transit every two years when the Army moves them around from post to post. This year, they have less than a year before they, once again, pack up and move on. It is a continuous undertaking, with most of the work falling to my dear daughter-in-law who has to take on packing and movers and changing addresses on things and other paperwork.
But in unusual circumstances I get the pleasure of their company for a brief period of time. It is quite exciting to have a family back again.
While moving into their Riverside condo, Christina and my “grandcats” stayed with me. The door between floors divided the dog area from the cat area. Mercifully, we kept our conflicting species apart, and peace was achieved. But the best was that my daughter-in-law took over the kitchen and did the cooking-as what I make best are “reservations.”
And, in what is seemingly an annual event, we cleaned the refrigerator. It is always interesting to see what has accumulated in the back of the fridge, some items being totally unidentifiable. Christina is kind enough not to make too many comments about the strange assortment of foodstuffs she finds there.
I’m sure that if the kids come to the block party, they will know everyone by the end of the day. Generationally, they will find many new, young families with lots in common. I will hang out as a kind of neighborhood grandmother who knows all the dogs who walk the block and the kids who stop by at Halloween or to sell their Girl Scout cookies or their Boy Scout popcorn.
We have a few of the gals in the neighborhood to thank for taking the time to organize the block party. They could run a corporation with the way they make assignments and get the preparations ready. It is a great outdoor feast, complete with amusements for the kids and music for the adults. It is a place where the new moms can trade information on new neighborhood arrivals (I am thinking we are at about 35 kids and counting).
It is a place where the men compare notes on home renovations, lawn care, what is going on at work and politics. It is just a lot of fun and a great way to get to know the neighbors.
We will have numerous block parties in the village during this last month of school vacation and as summer winds down. The police are exceptionally cooperative, as are others who have to bypass us because the road is closed. It is Americana in the best of traditions, an old-fashioned alternate way of talking over the fence and borrowing a garden tool.
I can hardly wait.