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Summer-Lily's Sweet Sixteen Party

By Belinda

On Friday, Susan's post, Ready or Not set the scene for Summer-Lily's Sweet Sixteen party: A Wiener Roast at the Stewart's. On the eve of the party, which Susan sanguinely, had agreed to have at her place, she learned, when I apologized that I would be a tad late, that the Face book invitation sent out by her equally sanguine daughter Jorie, had invited us all over at 4.30 (hours before she would be home from work!) The preparations; which consisted of hiding things in closets and locking rooms, ramped up to fever pitch.

A crisp chill was in the air on Friday evening. I changed into warm layers after work, and set out with Paul for our first ever wiener roast at the Stewart's.

When we arrived, it was still light but there was a blazing fire in the pit, around which people were already gathered on lawn chairs, roasting wieners and marshmallows. There were six old fogeys (anyone over 40, including us) along with about thirty assorted teens, twenties and a few children. Several of the teens had guitars, which they played throughout the evening, in groups around the fire or on the front porch.

Our friend Frances, Summer-Lily's mom, waved in the direction of a picnic table where the wieners were, along with buns, drink boxes and bags of chips. I located a "spear" and skewered two wieners, then headed for my chair in the circle around the fire and proceeded to roast them to glossy, brown perfection.

As the dark fell around us, the sparks flew up into the night sky, and different people came and went around the fire, the circle moving out to make room for more chairs as the group grew. I said to Susan that I wished I could photograph the circle from above. It would have looked so cool, the blazing fire surrounded by huddling people, some holding spears into the fire to toast marshmallows or wieners and our faces lit up with the light from the fire.

It was the perfect party for us. We are not party people, both of us being on the shy side. How cool that at a wiener roast you all face the fire and don't have to say anything particularly clever, or anything at all in fact. It was utterly relaxed and relaxing. We loved every minute of it.

We laughed and talked all night with our friends and the teens. I loved that the teens hung out with us and listened in on our conversations--and one of them, Missy, played and sang Beatles songs beautifully  for us.

Frances handed out pieces of blank paper and someone came around with a box of pens and we all wrote what we loved about Summer-Lily. I wrote that she has the sweetest spirit, is unspoiled and kind. She is polite, grateful and joyful. Paul just wrote, "What do I love about Summer? Everything."

She opened her presents and cards, exclaiming in ecstatic joy over each one, making us all feel that we had hit the sweet spot.

Susan, it was the best party ever. We went home with the pungent smell of bonfire smoke clinging to our clothes and hair; full of wieners, marshmallows and birthday cake. What an awesome way to celebrate a birthday.

And our beautiful red-headed God daughter Summer-Lily, managed to stay awake for this party, unlike the first one we ever celebrated with her! :)

Summer, may your heart and spirit never lose their sweetness or you, your gratitude for the little things.  We love you; God bless you always!


Marilyn Yocum said…
Ooo, you put me right in the mood for a weiner roast. I think I'm suggesting that for next year's neighborhood potluck here!
It sounds like so much fun! I haven't had a roasted marshmallow for far too long. I like them a bit burned and all hot and gooey inside. Simple pleasures, bonfires, s'mores and company ... ah ... life at it's best
Belinda said…
Marilyn and Dave, I have heard from another person today who read about the wiener roast and wished they were there. Funny how simple and uncomplicated a great time can be!

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