Can You See Me Grinning from Ear to Ear?

August 22, 2008

This evening we hosted the annual church choir picnic at our house. I have been looking forward to this event all year… I love hosting it, and I was especially anticipating the party this year because we have our new deck, patio and fire pit to enjoy.

It’s a lot of fun: I grill up a bunch of chicken for fajitas, everyone pitches in with side dishes and sinfully good desserts, and we just spend a few hours chatting and eating and watching the kids romp around in our back yard. This year I had my volleyball net set up, and a friend brought his corn hole game, and another friend brought “hillbilly golf.” Other than the fact that it was pretty hot outside, it seemed to me to be the perfect evening.

I love playing hostess (a disease, perhaps?), and this year I had the added bonus of not being embarrassed by my “white trash” backyard which used to feature the now infamous “Deck of Danger” that grew like a wart out the back of our house. We have worked hard this summer to convert our yard into a fun living space, and this party was a litmus test of sorts, to see if our efforts were really going to pay off.

Well, they did. 🙂

After the meal was over, we started a fire in our new cool fire pit so that the kids could roast some marshmallows. The boys and girls had a blast making s’mores and just sitting around the campfire, even in the lingering summer heat. And then the party really started to wind down, and people were gathering up their things to head back to their respective homes. I was starting to tidy up some items on the food table, and was chatting with a good friend from church, when her daughter who is about 9 or 10 came up to me and said:

“You are really lucky to live in this house. It’s really cool!”

And right then, all the work, all the money we have spent, all the stress of trying to grow new grass in the midst of a hot dry summer… everything we have done this summer to improve our backyard, and all the second guessing that has gone along with it… all of it was suddenly, completely and utterly worth it.

Thanks, Katie, for making my day!


  1. Can’t wait to see the completed deck and fire pit in a few more weeks. Maybe the boys and I will roast marshmallows too. S’mores are yummy….even though always messy.

  2. What a nice thing to hear from one of your younger guests. Thanks to your hard work, it is only a step out the back door for you, your family, and guests. Enjoy it!

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