Family Fun (again)
By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA
COVID put a damper on so many things and the list of those things is endless. One item that impacted so many people was gathering with friends and family. There were countless holidays, weddings and anniversaries that came and went without seeing loved ones. The simplest of social gatherings were nonexistent. We were unable to pay our respects and express condolences at wakes and funerals. The tide has ebbed and flowed for two years and now a sense of normalcy seems to exist increasingly. That is a good thing. Dinners at restaurants with friends and family are continuing to fill the calendar, as they should. Responses to wedding invitations are now a happy “yes we will attend” and no longer a regretful decline. One thing we recently thoroughly enjoyed was a good old fashioned family barbecue. I always love a good barbecue. Cathy’s sister, MaryAnn, recently hosted a full-fledged family barbecue at her house. Not everyone was able to attend for assorted reasons but none of those reasons were COVID related. People had conflicts in their schedule as will always be the case. Family members were out of town or who had to work or for whatever reason could not attend. There were hugs and kisses when people arrived as we were all so happy to be together, in person.
The day came and we had picture perfect weather. The temperature was in the high 70’s, no humidity, a light breeze, and a bright blue sky with plenty of sunshine. The perfect weather set the stage for all the outdoor activities of a barbecue. MaryAnn’s yard offered all the ingredients for fun for kids and adults. The pool was active with the kids splashing and swimming around. When the kids wanted a break from the pool, they could have a turn on the swings. There was also a small “castle” with a slide that the little ones enjoyed. Of course, there was a large sand box with every truck, shovel, bucket, and sifter you could imagine. A large rope swing was available for the kids and any adventurous adults. There were coolers filled with ice with various beverages of choice. Tables were set under a tent or an umbrella for a respite from the sun.
What barbecue would be complete without an array of yard games? There was badminton, Kubb (google that one), bocci and a football was sailing around the yard. We even had a dog running around chasing a ball that everyone had their opportunity of playing a little fetch with Willow. The best entertainment of all that day was the people. Just sitting around talking with each other and catching up with what was going on in our lives. It sounds so simple, and it was. The conversation was flowing, and laughter was everywhere. It was fabulous.
Did I mention there was food? The appetizers were everywhere, and the grill eventually was bursting with flames from the hot dogs and hamburgers to accompany everything else, including corn on the cob. Then came the fresh, fruit salad followed by the desserts. It was the perfect food menu to coordinate with the fabulous weather. Everyone pitched in and brought something, like families do.
Before we knew it, the sun began to set, and people began to leave. Cathy’s brother had a long drive back to MA, so he wanted to be on the road before dark. Again, there were more hugs and kisses and more laughter as well. It was a wonderful day.
I want to send a big thank you to MaryAnn for hosting the perfect family get together!
Until the Next Tom’s Take………………………..