Saturday, December 28, 2013

Where Has The Time Gone?

Every year my parents have a holiday party at their house. There are a few relatives that the only time that I see them during the year is at this party so it is a nice opportunity to try and catch up. In previous years there have been dozens of family and friends present filling all the rooms on the first floor and making it a challenge to walk across the house. While a smaller gathering this year due to illness and other life events, it was a great time to sit, talk, catch up, and eat.

Like every year, the kids took over the basement and provided some entertainment throughout the evening as we all participated in the usual game of dodge door. Every twenty minutes or so we could hear the low rumble of little feet stomping up the carpeted stairs. A few seconds later the knob would jiggle and turn and the door would come flying open. For the most part, everyone knows that you either don’t stand there or you keep your ears open to the stampede.

I was once one of those kids running up the stairs but as is clear when thinking about years past, things have changed and we have all gotten older. Many family members are no longer with us but this party proves to be the perfect time to think back to the happy, and sometimes funny, moments that we were able to enjoy with them. Even just seeing a large group of people in a room and recalling the lineup on the couch holding court in the family room. Sometimes it is as simple as recalling an image.

By the end of the evening, the cooler was much lighter, the tables were a little thinner, and the desert table looked like a bomb went off leaving cake bits and cookie crumbs strewn about. While some were still standing and a few of us sitting wherever we felt like no longer standing, all of us were quite full and not really wanting to move too much (although there were a few people making some determined trips to the dessert table). This is the time of evening when everyone realizes that it might be best if they start heading out the door and make their way home.

It is also a constant surprise as to how quickly time goes by at these parties. You sit down and start talking and before you know it half the people have left and it’s time to go home. This is always an interesting shuffle at the end of the evening as no matter how good you think your plan is when you arrive, it is inevitable that you are going to have to wait for someone to move their car before you will be able to leave. A good time was had by all and I am already looking forward to next year.