Last month, I shared with you the one thing that brings me happiness every day of every month — the true source of joy in this world. Today, I am remembering an evening of fall fun and friendship.
What makes for a wonderful evening? Some of the things I would include are all gathered together in my backyard:
- friends, neighbors, and family — So many people I love are mingling and getting to know one another better. What a joy this is for me to see!
- fun games — We’re all laughing and cheering as we take turns catapulting decorative squash with a three-person water-balloon launcher. The goal is to hit a target hanging on hay bales across the yard, but most of the squash end up in the grass or lodged into the chain-link fence. My first shot lands in the chicken pen, and one brave hen comes to check out the strange object. Party games don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Kids and adults alike are happy tonight with the “Pumpkin Launch” game, hitting a beach ball over a volleyball net, a tetherball pole, and even just using sidewalk chalk to draw on a 20-foot-long roll of black bulletin board paper that is taped to the back of the house.
- beautiful weather — A few wispy clouds highlight the sunset before the stars begin to twinkle and shine. A gentle breeze blows on this cool evening, encouraging us to circle around the campfire. You can see in the photo above where I threw on an armload of sticks that was too large for our little fire pit. The flames shot above our heads and made roasting marshmallows a bit dangerous for a while!
- food — Food is always a great thing in my book! I’m particularly happy with the tasty pumpkin patch pudding cups (my first-ever Pinterest project).
- singing praises to God — Gathering friends around a beautiful campfire to sing is always a great way to spend a cool evening.
- costumes and decorations — Several of us agree, as we sit on a row of hay bales eating smores and hot dogs, that there should be a holiday at least once per month where we could dress up in costumes. It’s funny to see your friends looking like a Harry Potter character, Superman, a lion, a football star, a pirate, a queen, or even just a grumpy girl in a bathrobe. Then there’s the friends who enjoy a play on words: like the geeky girl with candy glued to her jeans (“Miss Smarty Pants”) and the lady in the shower cap with sacks from different stores hanging all over her (“A Bag Lady”). It can be fun to step away from the everyday, get out of your comfort zone, and be a little silly!
The few weeks of preparation were worth it, I decide as I look around at all the smiling faces. I appreciate the motivation this gathering provided to clean up and repair the property, and I momentarily forget the seemingly endless times I climbed ladders to trim giant hedges and fix the gutters and siding. Seeing friendships, new and old, deepen and grow makes it all worthwhile. Though, I’m not positive if I would do it all again next year…whew!