Sunday, August 5, 2007

Jim's Party August 4th

I heard so much about Jim’s parties. I’m always out of town during one of his July 4th celebrations. This year however, this little family welcomed a new one to the household late in June, so the party was moved to August. This is wonderful news for me, because now I’m in town and able to attend. I hope to see a few of the old crew from work too.

We arrive mid afternoon. I find Tim so that I can finally give him his camera. I’ve been watching for this camera to arrive by courier since June. It is a relief to put it in his hands. I have been worried that I will forget it somewhere, drop it, or who knows what. My luck hasn’t been so good lately. Any mechanical item I touch has fallen victim to one hazard or another. I see him and deliver it in tact. He checks it out and all seems well. That’s a relief!

I spy Jim’s little guy. I haven’t seen him since he was a small baby. Wow, kids grow fast and often serve to remind me that I’m getting old. He’s a cutie and we seem to connect. During the course of the day, the adults find themselves sitting on the steps to watch some preliminary fireworks, and when I later move to a chair, the little one comes and takes me by the hand to sit back on the step beside him. What a sweetheart! I get a big kick out of it.

Chris is there with his boys too. They seem less shy then they did when coming into the office. We inspect the pictures on the boxes of fireworks and decide ahead of time if we like certain ones or not, and to speculate on those we can’t make an opinion about. Meanwhile Jim is at the grill and we all have a great feast.

I have been teasing Jim about the Jacuzzi. None of us have a suit of course and I don’t intend to actually use it, but the teasing is fun. Jim announces that anyone who is over 18 or under 55 may use the hot tub without a suit. Ann-Marie thinks he is discriminating. I think he is trying to determine our true ages. In reality, I think Jim is trying to avoid being arrested if someone is under 18, and avoid arresting by what he sees with someone over 55!

Jim has some roman candles that the kids can hold and we count each shot to make sure it has expired before they toss it down. I get to hold one too. It has a kick and I’m surprised by it a bit. We each take another turn. As I’m holding the second candle I’m thinking that maybe this is a bit dangerous. Then I think “Na! I motorcycle! This is nothing!” when one of the rounds shoots out the bottom, down my leg and onto my sandaled foot. I can feel it sting, am surprised, but now I am not sure how many have been fired. I don’t want to drop it and possibly hurt someone by an errant shot. Jim and the others notice, and tell me to go ahead and let it go. Phew! What was I thinking!

The time comes we have all been anticipating. The big fireworks display. We can tell where Jim is by the tip of his cigar in the dark. I’m sitting on the steps near Chris and his boys. Jim announces each one before it is lit. The boys and I decide if the pictures on the box live up to our expectations. We are pleasantly surprised to find that the pictured box we all rejected turns out to be the best display of all. We learn a valuable lesson. Never judge a fireworks display by its box.

As the others leave one by one and head for home, we linger a bit to talk about bikes. I so enjoy such conversations, and invite Jim to think about joining the NER on the Gorge Ride coming up in a few weeks. He’s starting his new job on Monday. He may find he can’t spare the time. We are all moving on. My hope, as we depart, is that going forward, we will find that our Numega connection is strong and we will have more days like this to carry with us.

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