I'm foggy this evening. It's not that I stayed up all New Year's night in Deerlodge, but somehow I managed to muddle through without suddenly falling in a heap to the floor snoring. I made it to the midnight champagne toast, a kiss Svetlana almost on the mouth as a stand in for my absent off-to-work husband (though before my midnight kiss, I had to let Baryshikov have his looonnnggg turn with his wife first all the while tapping my toe and folding my arms over my chest impatiently), two choruses of "Auld Lang Syne", and reading aloud my assigned New Year's resolution to the sundry collection of Clay and Helen's guests. Last year my clan o' friends began a tradition of writing up one another's New Years resolution and drawing them out on slips of paper from a basket. I wrote something silly to put in the basket last night- "For 2006, I resolve to join the local high school's Happy Hands Club", but the neatly folded one I traded with Svetlana for contained a far deeper message. It went something like this: "I resolve to be more disciplined in 2006. I will eat healthy, show self control, love more deeply, pray more, live more intentionally, and walk by faith." I was a bit taken aback that someone had put serious thought into what I expected to be frivolous fun. I asked around and Candy told me it was her husband's handwriting. I hadn't met Candy or her man before last night, but I've heard good things about them for the last eleven years from Helen and Clay. Upon spending some time with them, I understand the depth and kindness behind their names.
Another frequent guest at the Deerlodge fiestas is Liza. I observe her taking time to spend time with each guest individually. One moment she's sliding next to James at the player piano. Another she's sipping a pink drink next to his wife, Joan. She howled as Helen and I thoroughly embarrased our children with unrestrained dancing to thumping crazy music. She shot pool with her toddler son. I notice an elegance and tenderness about Liza.
Buck and I agree James, a middle aged English business partner of Clay's is the life of the party. I was elated to have him join us in a rousing round of the Dictionary game. You know, the game where one looks up an obscure word in the dictionary and everyone tries to fool one another with his made up definitions? I held my sides tightly to make sure my inards stayed put from the side splitting laughter produced from Jame's hilarious contributions to our game. One I enjoyed immensely had something to do with a disease caused by a diet exclusively of veal. James is also a captivating tale spinner; he left out no details in his keen description of some kind of English breakfast pudding made with pig's blood this morning. His fun wife, Joan, compliments his merry nature.
My children glared horridly at me last night when I declared bedtime to be an early 1:oo am. I did so, because I needed the peace of mind that they weren't wildly romping about Helen's while I slumbered quietly in the guest house down the road. I nestled the boys into cozy sleeping bags in the boy's room, and snuggly tucked in Pooh Bear next to her dear friend, Kate. Helen drove a sobbing Pooh Bear up to me around 1:30 am. "I'm not crying for you, Mommy. I'm crying, because the BIG girls get to stay up late and play, and I don't." Good grief. No wonder she fell asleep this evening for the night after dinner around 6:45 pm.
I think I'll join her very soon. I need to catch up on some rest myself.
The Minister Who Invented Camping in America - William H. H. Murray was a wealthy Congregationalist minister and an outdoors enthusiast. Every summer he went to the Adirondack Mountains, often with hi...
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