No matter how many times we venture down to the waterfront for the annual 1812 Overture...it never gets old, but this year was the first year I was not giddy about the event.
Our Caleb was working later, our newlyweds were working or getting off later and it was like I was lacking some serious motivation and siding with feeling a bit sorry for myself. My hubby reminded me that it is NOT about our family and it certainly is NOT about us, but it is our opportunity to practice hospitality to our friends and to our "symphony mates". With that in mind, I snapped out of it and assured our children that it was fine that they were not coming. Sooo, the focaccia bread was made, the pies were assembled and baked and the picnic was packed...and what a delightful evening it was!
The new people we met.
The new momma's with babies.
Families with aging parents who made an effort to take them out on the town for a blissful summer evening who may have otherwise been home for what may be considered just an ordinary week night.
Older ladies all.dressed up with their floppy hats, big rings and bright lipstick and nail polish.
Portland bikers who biked in for the event and who enjoyed sitting under the big oak tree taking in the shade and a bit of cool breeze.
Row boats, barges and fancy schmancy boats pulled up dockside for fish and chips along the waterfront restaurants.
Big ice cream cones and messy little faces and sticky hands squeaking in the last drops of summertime.
Older men playing cards and businessmen in tailored suits holding down their spots while reading the paper and conducting business on laptops.
Time to craft the afternoon away.
Park Rangers scouring the premises to keep it safe and fun.
Swarms of geese flying overhead wanting to take in all of the sights and sounds, too.
Standing up and singing the National Anthem.
The American Flag flying high above...bright against the darkening sky and as MAJESTIC.AS.EVER!
We carry a picnic box in our car year-round and add in certain things for specific events which makes field trips oh.so.easy. Be it a trip to the Gorge, a picnic to visit the vaux swifts, a hike to the zoo or a trip to the lake.
We also keep a checklist of what is needed for each individual field trip, that way, we don't have to learn the hard lessons several times in a row. Even though the 1812 is typically warm during the day, warm jackets and blankets were added to the list when our children were freezing two years in a row. A flashlight became a permanent fixture when we were trying to hunt down a specific HOT WHEEELS car in the dark for what seeemed like an impossible feat. There was the misplaced beanie baby, too one year. Anyhoo, now with smartphones, I guess it could be left at home in the garage, but I HAVE to know that we have plan B! Smartphones are not always "smart"...or maybe it could be the owner. HA!
Dessert is always doubled or tripled to share with friends and since we get down to stake out our real estate early on in the day, our food items have to travel well and be okay hours later...so, this year, we took the makings for hummus and veggie focaccia sandwiches which were super easy and could be made with whatever people wanted. All of the veggies were packaged individually and once it was time for dinner...they were placed into individual paper trays with plastic forks for serving.
PERFECT! The pies needed zero attention as they were perfect at outdoor temp and when it came to serving dessert, there was no dishing up. Just a squirt of homemade whipping cream that had been kept in the cooler and a fork. Eating fresh berry pie...listening to the 1812 on a warm summer evening surrounded by old friends, new friends, the blue moon in as beautiful as can be...and holding a darling baby who was such a joy made this momma very happy to share what has been a family tradition with so.many.others.
Do you have a family tradition that you share with others? If not, I highly recommend you try it!