We reminisced and laughed, henious though it probably was for a cemetery. It put us in a place we rarely get to be, just there to have fun and talk about nothing serious--like being a kid. A mini family reunion.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, we had a party on the mountain for friends in Riverside (the opposite direction). Curious about what we, the crazy friends were doing, they all came, including the kids, who immediately climbed up the ladder to the loft and stayed there, peering down at us from time to time. I made some pretty good chicken enchaladas and fabulous nachos, got some Vista strawberries which were spectacular. The strawberries were such a hit that 15 people ate an entire flat of them. Vista is four miles away from here. I'm going back for more.
There always has to be a disaster (read "challenge") so ours for the day was the cool European oven cut out about fifteen minutes before dinner and before nachos were even put together. As the guests were arriving, Melody was rushing hot casseroles up the hill to the landlady, Muriel's, oven to finish cooking. I'm not as electronic as I'm supposed to be, according to the world report, and could only get a "error" reading on the oven. Guess what I'm going to be doing this week?
Anna (12 years old) asked if she could walk around the property. Since we could see her in any direction she might go, I told her to ask her mom and it was okay, but don't leave the eight acres and don't get stuck on a cactus. She immediately found a rattler, of course, which her uncle dispatched to the happy hunting grounds. We didn't want Abby to find it later.
35 years ago we practically lived with these people, in a canyon sixty miles north of Escondido, where we raised horses, chickens, dogs, cats, kids and dirt. We lived there twelve years before all 22 adults of us got split up by life. Some had job changes, some divorced, some went to Georgia. This particular family went to Georgia with us. But life goes on and that family came back here, expanded by eleven more kids and about fourteen more grandkids, whom we love as our own. We stayed in the Georgia paradise of hardwood trees and mysterious land.