Party of ….5?

Unexpected Dinner guests

Saturday night I was invited to a birthday party.  It had been a long day selling wine at the market but I was really looking forward to seeing some friends I haven’t seen since the summer and just celebrating.  I closed up the booth a little early, shooing the sales man who’d been hanging around all day away.  I ran home to take a quick shower and get ready for the party.

It was my job to bring a fruit tray, so I did my usual pineapple boats with berries and grapes, I never put anything on that I don’t like so it’s always good suff as far as I’m concerned.  I jumped into my car, programmed the GPS and I was off.  I’m beginning to find my way around Halifax but was very surprised when the british voice on my GPS  (I’d really like to get Darth Vader but I don’t have the adapter to plug into my computer, I’ll have to get it from my ex-sweetie when he finally gets a chance to unpack) led me to a street that I have driven by several times. 

This street is off the Bedford Highway, a busy road that runs along the harbour and is really in a packed older suburb.  There was a very charming church across the street from my friend’s place and only 1 spot left in the driveway which I quickly slipped into, only to be booted out when we had to do an immediate car shuffle.

I was greeted at the door by the birthday boy, quickly handing him the bottle of rye I had brought from Ontario for this exact occasion, don’t tell anyone ’cause apparently it’s illegal to transport alcohol across provincial borders, who knew?  The fruit platter disappeared from my hands and my coat was whisked away from me.  I was then hugged by every member of the family, it was so good to see everyone again. 

Although this was a birthday party, a year ago on that day this family buried their father so this year was about taking that sad memory away from this 1 brothers day.  There was tons of food, and wine and 2 glasses of red were put into each of my hands, causing far to many jokes about my drinking and prompting me to pass 1 off to my friend, complete with lipstick marks. 

As we stood in the kitchen, joking, talking, laughing and eating the amazing guacamole that my friend had made, someone exclaimed “there’s a deer in the back yard!”.  Sure enough there were 2 deer in the back yard as bold a brass staring at us from outside as we all watched them.  The 2 were joined by 3, leaping gracefully over the chain link fence that separates the birthday boys house from his neighbour’s yard.  I scrambled to get my phone and handed it to my friends 14-year-old son who can work something like that far better and faster than I can….the picture above is the one he managed to get before the deer back yard hopped on to the next place …. the one with the pool.

I wonder what they were thinking as we stared out the windows at them and they stared back?  I heard comments on our side “they’re beautiful”, “gorgeous” and a few smart ass comments about cleaning up behind themselves.  Do you think they were thinking similar things?

The rest of the evening was filled with a lot of laughter and good feelings.  I was sitting on the floor listening to everyone laugh and talk and thinking of my own family gatherings that will be harder to get to now that I’m 4 provinces away.  As I sat there I realized how lucky I was, to be accepted into this family as a part of them, to be included in their lives so easily.  Just like the deer I’m learing to adapt to my surroundings. Although I don’t think jumping a chain link fence with the grace they showed is in my immediate future, I hope I can handle people staring at me with equal aplomb that these beautiful animals showed.

Dreaming Big from the East Coast,


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