Jul. 5th, 2015

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Jason, one of C's oldest friends, recently moved to New Mexico. Both C and I are ecstatic. Jason is amazing with kids, handy with everything, and generally cheerful, sweet, and enthusiastic. He was, in fact, C's roommate briefly when C and I were dating. Most importantly to this entry, he has a killer back yard.

A moderate block of a home with no pretensions to anything, the back enclosed patio - perfect for large parties - opens to wisteria on the porch and a broad view of the city. Climb the expansive hill in his very large yard adrift with sand and pretty New Mexican scrub, and there's a second porch overlooking the city. It's utterly brilliant, the kind of porch you're half-tempted to move into. We strongly suggested he throw the annual Independence Day party for our little community of friends, and somewhat terrified, he agreed.

Never having thrown a party (and in his forties!), we jumped to his aid--admittedly rather necessarily, considering we'd put him in this situation. We made bean salad and potato salad, brought salsa and chips and plates and platter and beer and more, helped him shop and prep his list of meals, arrived early and made drinks and served them while Jennifer helped guide him in his first grilling experience on his brand-new grill that C had helped him put together not three hours before. Food piled up as friends dropped in, including K, recently out of the hospital and looking much better.

It was the kind of perfect fourth you dream about: fireworks, kids, old friends and new, even a random acquaintance dropping by to add to the fun of it toward the end. We started with Glenn Miller and moved on to a wild tailored soundtrack courtesy of C while I poked about and took pictures. Koko bounced around ecstatically, enjoying free reign in the yard, scampering in and out and up and down the long and charmingly lit pathway to the second porch. KL turned her dress ruby red with watermelon juice as twilight came in and we sat down to a feast before moving back outdoors to drink and admire the sky. Little cousin Mia nearly burned herself several times with fireworks--definitely not something I'd planned on, unnerving, but admittedly delightful--and everyone else watched as she burned through her pile of goodies, all amused at my fretting.

I went home, disappointed only because I hadn't wanted to leave.

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July 2015

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