Yesterday we had our “Open House and First Annual Get-Together and Potluck.” It was a success by at least some measures, but not quite as well attended as we’ve had liked.
Between work, cons, illness and the annoying habit time has of going faster than we’d like an awful lot of the time, we weren’t quite as prepared for opening the party at 1pm when we got up as we’d have liked. So we got up with a bit longer of a to-do list that would have been optimal, and we were still doing some running at the time we were supposed to open.
Fairly early Tara and The Kid headed off, first to check out a nearby garage sale raising funds for a scout’s Eagle Project to see if they had a sweat jacket to replace one he lost recently, and then to Kohl’s to get some remaining supplies, mainly table cloths.
While they were gone, I finished assembling the yard furniture and moved some stuff around the backyard. Once I was done (or as done as I could be without Tara’s direction), I knew I needed to head to Costco to get the bulk food, but waited for what was supposed to be long enough to be sure Tara wasn’t still driving. But distracted by killing time, I was about to call her when she and The Kid got home – I’d wasted at least 30 minutes instead of the 10-15 I should have. So, it was after 11 when I headed out. I also needed gas (and our local Costco is one of the few without its own station) so I hit up the nearby Arco which usually has the least expensive gas for a long ways. However, its gas price had crossed, downward, the $4.00 barrier (by $0.001), which combined with it being late Saturday morning caused a feeding frenzy at the pumps adding to my delay.
So, I got to Costco at the peak of their Saturday busy – OK Saturday peak at Costco is most of the day – and had to get the few things we needed, plus bread I only thought we needed. It was just about noon when I got home.
Meanwhile, The Kid had agreed to meet a couple of friends at the neighborhood club to attend their summer kick-off event. But when I got home he and only one of the friends were heading back up. As it turns out, he and this friend (who we’d not met before) hadn’t brought swimwear so had basically ditched the third kid and come home. So during final set-up we had an extra kid hanging around. Adding to the problem, this kid was afraid of the dog (aggravated, in part, by the dog being unhappy by being restrained to the far corner of the yard).
I also still needed to get at least ice (and should have gotten a new cat scratcher). So I made a quick run to the grocery store for ice, and still got home after 1. But it didn’t matter too much. We were well done with our prep before anyone showed up. One change, we ended up locking the dog in our bedroom because he would not settle down in the yard.
Eventually eight people showed up, including our next-door neighbors that Tara had met the day we moved in, and I’d not met in the year-plus since. We had a good time. And, as I pointed out on facebook, we achieved the SMEGS/VS measure of having “stupid amounts of food” (which we are still eating through some of the left-overs, and may be for a couple of days).
We’ve learned a couple of things from this and some changes we’ll probably make for next year (and sooner):
1: We probably should reduce the official hours either to mostly the afternoon (when people were here) or the evening.
2: We need to figure out how to make more people in our circle of friends aware of this so we don’t have a bunch suddenly getting excuses not to come.
3: We should check the SDSU schedule so we can schedule while my niece is still in town – which may or may not be possible depending on planing around other (mainly fannish) events.
We have also pretty much committed to stealing the idea of Faux Thanksgiving (and the name, but I doubt it is a service mark) by having a gathering the Saturday before Thanksgiving for our local friends (and family if interested). But, we’ll need a better count on who is likely to show so that we can know how much of the host’s portion of the food – the Turkey – to make. (At least the VS/Chicago host usually supplies the turkey – but I don’t think I’m going to deep fry one even if we need more than one bird to feed the masses). I’ve already put an even on Facebook (and I’ll have to rely on updating the wall in order to provide more up to date info since Facebook seems to make it difficult to edit event details – or at least I’ve not found the way)