The Best 4th of July Party Ever - or, I Love It When A Plan Comes Together. The continuing saga of

Monday, July 05, 2010

My husband freely admits to having married a crazy woman. Our first anniversary will be August 6th. He is still surprised at new manifestations of my craziness.

We've been talking about a 4th of July Party for 2 years - as soon as the neighborhood was finished (please refer to previous blog entry for details.)

I didn't call to rent the canopy until last Thursday, and then made the decision without telling him first and put it on the credit card. He wasn't very happy with me. It was almost $300. I reserved 12 traffic cones and sent him over to pick them up.

I didn't get a permit to close off the street. I wasn't very worried about it, since we live at the top of a "T", were not blocking anyone's egress, and everyone in the neighborhood had been invited. Yes, next year I will get a permit.

He was worried that the sheriff would make us take down the tent, that nobody would come, that someone would get hurt, etc. Oh, and the garbage trucks would be blocked today because the tent would be in the way.

Then I told him I wanted him to take the barbecue grill out to the street, and he was worried that the carpet would be damaged (it has to come through the house.) He was worried that someone would trip over the electrical cord (it's a pellet smoker, so needs electricity.) I said, go buy gaffing tape, okay?

1. The sheriff didn't come.

2. Lots of people came.

3. Nobody got hurt.

It was really awesome.

I put my sweetheart in charge of photography, and he did a fantastic job while I grilled 70 pounds of ribs and 25 pounds of corn on the cob.

This is our friend Lahnna, the neighbor who owns the Thai restaurant. She and her family had to leave early because they were all going to Disney World on vacation, where her daughter, Rachel, will be taking some acting lessons and hopefully get a gig with the Disney network. She's the girl we took to her dance recital last month. We LOVES them!

This is their son, Russell. He's a little character. :) He told Richard, "Don't put my picture on Facebook!" lol

Aisha and Caitlin on our front porch bench. I got lots of compliments on our little front yard 'nook'. :) The girls are SO adorable.

The couple on the left are Chandrani (which translates to "Moon Queen" - isn't that the most wonderful name?) and Madhur. The couple on the right are Tim and Erika. The couple in the middle are Chandrani's parents, who are visiting from Bengal this summer. Chandrani, Madhur, Tim, and Erika were the witnesses for our wedding last August. This was also partly a 'going-away' party for Tim and Erika and their two boys, Logan and Matthew. :( Tim and the boys flew out to CA this morning, and Erika will join them in two weeks. Their house is for sale (horrible time to sell a house) and we are really, really sad to see them go. Richard was looking through his netflix queue this morning, and then let out a sigh of grief. He said, "I was going to put some things in the queue for Logan and Matthew - but they're not coming over any more." :( I told Heidi and Shane last night (who have a 5 month old baby girl and live across the street) that we're putting an ad on Craigslist for new surrogate grandchildren - lol. They said, "Be careful what you wish for!" (They don't have family here.) I said, "BRING IT ON." :)

I LOVE this picture of Aisha and Caitlin. :)

This is Eli after a blue-frosted cupcake. Go Eli!

This is our crazy neighbor who drove to Washington to buy fireworks. Apparently he never heard the old adage, "Never buy more fireworks than you can lift."

The kids all had a MISERABLE time, and none of them could get along, as you can see. :)

This is Matthew, who sometimes knocks at my door and says, "Auntie Ruby, do you have a snack for me?" Gosh I'm gonna miss that little monkey. Sniff. :(

We had about 50 people, if you include all the kids. Everyone brought food, and we met neighbors we'd never met before. Even better, neighbors who lived across the street from each other met for the first time! It was an amazing time, and we have a fabulous view down the hill across the Tualatin Valley, so while we were enjoying our fireworks, we could see fireworks from ten miles away across the valley.

I made an announcement at one point that I'd like to collect email addresses so that we can share news (I'm going to make a website), and asked for donations to cover the cost of the tent.

We received $182 in donations, which really surprised my husband. I was asked for recipes for the corn and the Cambodian-style ribs repeatedly. I was thanked many times for organizing it. And one very contentious neighbor who has been a thorn in our side for two years showed up, and we actually got a couple of issues resolved and peace made between disgruntled neighbors. A view-blocking tree was trimmed today, and a bottle of wine was given in thanks.

Everyone said that next year will be even better. :)

After the fireworks were finished, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, just went to work cleaning up, hauling things back into our garage, sweeping, etc. In 20 minutes it was OVER. I went inside, had a tasty beverage, and I swearz I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. I slept until noon!

The rental company picked up the tent this morning well before the garbage trucks arrived.

This afternoon Lihn brought over a big plate of Vietnamese-style eggrolls. Lihn had asked for the recipe for the Cambodian-style ribs and when she saw it, she was amazed. "YOU USE FISH SAUCE???" I said of course, that's why they're so good. Lihn's family owns three houses in the neighborhood - uncle, sister, sister. They all think it's pretty funny that the white girl in the neighborhood cooks with fish sauce - her uncle was laughing about it yesterday.

So I've earned another stripe. I've been told by my black friends that I cook like a Sistah, by my Indian friends that I cook like a Bengali, by my Thai friends that I cook like a Thai, and now I have the Vietnamese stamp of approval.

And now several more families know where Auntie Ruby, Mayor of Cooper Mountain, lives. :)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow I wish I lived on your street .You think like me .Who cares what nationality people are .I was in Quebec this year for the 4th of July for my father-in-law's 85th but I normally have a 4th of July party it does the neighbours heads in following right after the Canada Day Celebration ,Lol and of course it is only a week after the "St.Jean Baptiste "Quebec party!!!True story one of our neighbours said to my husband "You wife has a strange accent for an American " Al" oh no she isn't American" neighbour "oh so one of her parents is" Al says" no but we went to New York on our honeymoon" I think those neighbours still think they have a crazy military family down the road from them ......
    3208 days ago
    Great blog,enjoyed the pics too. Glad everyone had a good time. Thanks for sharing ! emoticon
    3212 days ago
    This was such a wonderful blog, Rooby! In many cultures, when you visit, you share food. Everyone looks like they were having a wonderful time in the pictures.
    I read about Parker and the pie and the way you describe your cooking makes my mouth water just reading about it.

    I was at one block party in Cleveland Heights, Ohio a long time ago and even with food, the people seemed stuffy. Your block party, sounded like all were doing what they could to make it the best! You have a knack of causing others to relax when they are around you. I love your sense of humor.
    3212 days ago
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    What a fantastic way to celebrate the 4th and to get to know the neighbours. What are you doing for the 4th next year. Thanks for sharing.
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    3214 days ago
    Wow, that sounds wonderful! I bet it was just a blast. Thanks for sharing; it was the next best thing to getting to be there in person.
    3214 days ago
    Sounds amazing! Wouldn't the world be so much better if all neighborhoods were like that?
    Btw...I wouldn't complain if you posted the recipe for Cambodian ribs :)
    Thanks for this feel-good post.

    3214 days ago
  • CKAYT56
    Well, Madam Mayor.....I'll vote for you next time around! Great pics! Sounds and looks like a good time was had by all! There are some houses for sale on my block.....
    3214 days ago
    Can I move there too!
    3214 days ago
  • JANENE413
    And aren't you just the most charming and wonderful Auntie in the world! How wonderful for you and your neighbors. I was especially happy for the woman who finally connected with other residents, tree trimmed, and wine given. what a beautiful thought. Life is too short for strife! And your hubby learned that his fears were groundless.

    May you continue to reap the thankfulness of your community for the love that you share. Congrats!

    ps. I wish I lived on your street, too! It's a beautiful day in your neighborhood!
    3214 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/6/2010 5:31:21 PM
    I wish you were my neighbour! Cool pics.

    3214 days ago
    Wow, this sounded wonderful and the pictures were great! It is so good when people can get together like this and I am glad there are people in the world like you who made it happen! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3214 days ago
    Madam Mayor, you rock! emoticon
    3214 days ago
    And they all lived happily ever after. Thank you for this story. My faith in humanity has been restored! (At least the humanity in your neck of the woods).
    3215 days ago
    The party sounds awesome!! I think you have a tradition on your hands :) Glad it all went well and you helped connect the neighborhood!! You rock!
    3215 days ago
    Isn't it amazing that people who have been hurt the most as children turn out to be the most loving ,giving individuals. You have such a sense of community and bringing people together not only in your own personal neighborhood but right here on Spark People .com We all wish we were your neighbors but in a way we already are. Thanks for including the photos they brought us right into the party! You and D H are the best! emoticon
    3215 days ago
    Wow, what a fantastic time you all had. Brings back the village that we all need!
    Thank you for the lovely photos!

    Thank you for sharing!! emoticon
    3215 days ago
    You rock as Mayor! I wish you were one of my neighbors!

    3215 days ago
  • LLEWIS6879
    And I want to live in YOUR neighborhood!!!
    3215 days ago
    Sounds wonderful. Now I want ribs, Indian, Thai and Vietnamese food!
    3215 days ago
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