Monday, July 25, 2005

Block Party

Saturday dawned gray and drizzly, not a promising combination for this summer's block party. People weren't the fastest movers at getting their cars off the street, either. Mr. Married next door was no help--he's moving out, and he and some buddy of his with a big blue truck kept backing down into the street, scattering the children on bicycles. I pointed this out and they blew me off with a polite smile. Sigh.

I did a little trash-picking but everything was wet and muddy so it was nasty work. Junior's little brother tried to help me out a little, but when I grabbed a soggy piece of plastic out of the gutter, he said, "That's disgusting!" Yep.

Eventually everybody got the hint and got their cars off the street. The girls from two or three houses down on the other side of the street were riding bikes, jumping rope and running races. I only remember the name of one girl and she might be moving to California Avenue. They took the sidewalk chalk from last year and used it up.

We did play some running bases for a little while, like last year.

I'd say the party really started to get going around 3 or so. The DJs showed up at like 2--they weren't expected until 5, but having the music going was OK.

A few friends of mine showed up to help out and see the sights. A big muchas gracias to all four of them for helping out! We grilled a bunch of burgers and turkey sausages and a swarm of little boys came and ate them. The kids were using my hose out front for water balloons and squirting each other, but with the grill in the back it was hard to see the party out front. Later we took chairs out front and sat a spell and watched the kids play.

Perhaps the best thing was that the folks in the pink house down the block had enough advance notice to get ice cream and give free cones out to the kids. They liked that. I saw Junior and D. on a bike with their ice cream cones--Junior steering and D. standing on the back wheel axle, eating something that looked like orange sherbet.

Around 5 or 6 p.m. more of the grownups came out. I sat with Junior's mom, who was reminiscing about growing up in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and how she would spend 2 hours getting her clothes and makeup ready to go out with a boy and hold hands and chat. We agreed it's a different world today.

At the very end of the night I had a beer with the folks on the first floor next door, a young couple in their 20s with a darling two-year-old girl. They want to speak better English, so they asked if they could come and practice, English for Spanish. Of course I said yes/si. They took me up on it last night and we all practiced Spanish and English ordinal numbers while eating ham, mushroom and pineapple pizza on my front step (they provided the pizza, I provided the drinks).

So, do I remember? primero segundo tercero quarto quinto sexto septimo octavo noveno decimo--I think I'm right, hey! If I'm wrong--check me.

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